Parades are fun for participants of all ages and a great way to reach a large audience with a simple educational message.
- Choose a theme for your float and decide what message and visuals you will use.
- Purchase and tag give-away items with your message.
- Ask volunteers to sign up – you’ll need decorators (2-5), walkers/riders (10-20), a driver, and possibly characters to dress up.
- Write up a description of your float explaining the mission, theme, sponsors, and some relevant educational statistics for the parade announcer to reach.
- Register your parade float with the organizer and submit your written description.
- Day before – decorate your float and contact volunteers to remind them of the meeting time and location.
- Day of – assign volunteer roles (Who will walk and hand out items? Who will ride and assist walkers? Who will wear costumes?).
- Pickup and trailer.
- Give-away items (Local, State or National Resources or Wearables & Shareables). Some favorites are frisbees, water bottles, pencils and stickers.
- Float decorations (ex. bunting, fringe, banners, and other items that fit your theme).
You don’t have enough volunteers…
- Offer an incentive, like t-shirts or a gift card to a local store.
- Invite youth groups.
- Invite your family and friends and ask stakeholders to do the same.
- Make sure your message is short and easy to understand. You will only have the bystander’s attention for about 10 seconds.
- Tag give-away items with small slips of paper that contain your message on it
- No matter how many give-a-ways you prepare, you’ll probably run out without a little guidance for walkers. Preparing bags with a specific number of items ahead of time can help. Tell volunteers that they each get X number of give-away bags that has to last them the whole parade.
Čaŋlí Coalition Example
The Canli Coalition’s members are never disappointed when they volunteer for a parade. It’s always a good time and one of the Coalition’s favorite activities.