Help me plan a parade!
June 15, 2006 8:23 AM   Subscribe

Help me plan a parade!

I'm in charge of planning a parade in Michigan next month, and I expect about 7,000 people to show up. Mostly teenage guys and their dads - think of this as a Boy Scout event but skewed five years older. I need to make this parade kickass, but there's some limitations:

- Nothing that offends parents. This is not a love parade.
- No cars on the parade route. But we have golf carts.
- We need a ride for a beauty queen. Too bad we can't have convertibles.
- We also need rides for six VIPs.
- We need some focus on the founding of our organization.

Besides the beauty queen we've got nothing incredible. What other awesome things could we put in this parade? How should we drive around our beauty queen and VIPs? How can we bring in history in a cool way? I'd also love to hear from people who have planned parades before.
posted by Sfving to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total)
Horse and buggy? Stagecoach?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:39 AM on June 15, 2006

Response by poster: That would be pretty fantastic but I can't do horses either. (Shakes fist at regulations)

Hmm, maybe a robot horse?
posted by Sfving at 8:46 AM on June 15, 2006

posted by Alt F4 at 8:49 AM on June 15, 2006

Can you do retro-looking scooters or motorbikes with sidecars?
posted by MegoSteve at 8:49 AM on June 15, 2006

some focus on the founding of our organization

Some details / a link there would help us.
posted by Alt F4 at 8:51 AM on June 15, 2006

What about getting in contact with your local Segway dealer - they might be able to sort something out (i.e. that you borrow them in return for some publicity or something) - they can be a bit different instead of the usual things in a parade.

Also could try the Kangaroo boots (I know its a UK website but I'm sure you can find some in the states!

On a lighter note (and somewhat unlikely), what about getting in contact with a local zoo? Have some elephants or such like join the parade....

Hope that helps!
posted by philsi at 8:53 AM on June 15, 2006

a parade aint a parade without shriners on tiny motorbikes wearing fezzes.

alternatively: jugglers? decorated bicycles? candy tossing?

it'd be easier if we knew more about your parade's theme...
posted by cubby at 8:57 AM on June 15, 2006

Response by poster: some focus on the founding of our organization

Some details / a link there would help us.

I wasn't sure if anyone would want to get into this but I'm glad you do, so here goes:

It's called the Order of the Arrow, part of the Boy Scouts of America. It's a sort of honor society and fraternity. In particular we want to honor its two founders, who created the organization in 1915 at a Delaware scout camp. We want to remind people who they were and what they stand for - they're pretty inspirational folks but it's hard to get that message across in a parade. How do you resurrect their personality and message in parade form?

Also, rickshaws? Kangaroo boots? Scooters? I'm thrilled. You folks are amazing.
posted by Sfving at 9:09 AM on June 15, 2006

Response by poster: The theme of the parade is the founding of this organization (see above) but we're also celebrating the whole nation coming together in one place. So I'd also like to have people join in the parade, maybe some friendly competition (golf cart decorating competition by region?), keep everyone involved and having fun.
posted by Sfving at 9:15 AM on June 15, 2006

Maybe some of the kids modeling different eras of Scout uniforms?
posted by k8t at 9:18 AM on June 15, 2006

ok: professional archers at the back of the parade, firing arrows up to the front of the parade, where professional ninjas catch them.

alternatively: decorated carts/bikes/wagons with young children are great ways to get participation. everybody gets to interpret the theme in their own way, feels some piece of ownership over the parade, and will probably have some friends/family along the route to cheer them on. have you invited local boy and cub scout troops to participate? maybe they could each have a float/cart/whatever they can muster. i'd contact local car dealerships about the rides for vips and the beauty queen. they could just slap a sign on their donated loaner car for publicity.
posted by cubby at 9:24 AM on June 15, 2006

A marching band at the start and a marching band at the end of the parade would make the parade exciting. Could you get a couple of middle school or high school bands to participate?
posted by jeremiahWasABullfrog at 9:38 AM on June 15, 2006

Response by poster: Just to clarify, the youngest guys at this parade will be like fifteen.
posted by Sfving at 9:45 AM on June 15, 2006

I second the marching band. You need a marching band with a good drum section, it provides the soundtrack for the parade. if schools are not in session, look for music camps that may be able to participate.
posted by Alpenglow at 10:27 AM on June 15, 2006

*Trying to remember my OA days*

How about a mob of people in medicine man makeup and a mob of people dressed as the chief, etc... They can be contruction paper costumes since you're glorifying the personas and not trying to actually do a fancy ceremony.

Banners that look like big OA sahes (Ordeal, Brotherhood, Vigil).

Since it's a group largely based on service, I admit it's tough to do a parade.

Also, a group at the back picking up trash and whatnot would be fitting since I was always taught to leave a campsite in better shape than how I found it.
posted by stevis at 10:46 AM on June 15, 2006

See if the local fire department will send a couple of trucks through. How about local businesses? They might also want to pay tribute to your honorees, or at least see it as an opportunity for some good publicity. You might be able to drum up enough interest to have a contest for best float, though you don't have a lot of lead time. How about classic car collectors? Those old convertibles always seem to show up as VIP transportation at parades.
posted by Songdog at 11:46 AM on June 15, 2006

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