The first step in planning any float is to thoroughly read all of the information concerning entry fees, deadlines, transporting the float, parade rules and regulations and most importantly, safety requirements.
Building a float is not as hard as you might think –the hardest part is coming up with a theme. You can define a float as, “any motorized or manually powered entry which has been constructed in such a manner that the individual components create a unified whole,” so there is a lot of room to come up with creative interpretations.
1. Be sure to read all of the information concerning the parade and make contact with the Parade Chairman for any special safety requirements and rules.
2. Determine a base structure upon which your float will be constructed. Floats can be built on anything with wheels.
3. Come up with a theme and a color scheme for your float. Determine the message you want to convey, staying within the parameters of your chosen theme. If your theme is humorous, make sure no one will be offended by it. Also, remember that blatant advertising is boring, so try to keep your message subtle and positive.
BE SURE TO INCORPORATE LIGHTS …
THIS IS AN EVENING PARADE!!
1. Draw a rough pencil sketch. Most floats use a stair step effect with the most height at the rear of the float. After you have worked out the details, a drawing done to scale is very helpful.
2. All entries must adhere to height, width, and length restrictions, and all must be able to navigate the parade route and make all turns required by the parade route.
3. Consider your equipment and the capability of your float-builders. If you plan to include elaborate props make sure that you have access to a capable technician who has the proper tools and equipment. If your float has electrical requirements, make sure you have consulted someone who is a qualified electrician.
1. You’ll have to buy, rent, or borrow the materials needed to execute your plan. Be sure to have tools handy for your volunteer workers – power circular saws, electric jigsaws, screw guns or screwdrivers, electric drills, staple guns, hammers, and stepladders.
2. Pick an appropriate spot for constructing your float. There should be enough room for both your float and off-float work areas. Make sure you can use a nearby garage or another covered space. After you put in a lot of work, the last thing you want is to have your float ruined by a quick and unexpected five-minute sleet or freezing-rain storm.
The most important thing about building your float is to have fun doing it. Volunteer float-building can be a great bonding experience for your organization.