School spirit parades have long been one of the highlights of a school homecoming weekend, ranking right up with the big football game and the dance. The parade is a way of building up the excitement of a student body with the floats and participants who represent different groups within the school.
- walking groups–can also be pushing (like lawnmowers) or pulling items (like children’s wagons)
- golf carts
- convertible cars
- AFVs or motorbikes
- pickup trucks
- pickup trucks pulling flatbed trailers
- flatbed trucks
The walking unit is the easiest, least expensive kind to pull together. No vehicle will be needed. Examples range from people walking and greeting the crowd; clowns and unicyclists; school clubs in formation; performing groups such as gymnasts; or a marching band. With some time to rehearse, groups with little time or money can put in a great entry. All that’s needed little more than costumes or props.
Group members may all wear the same colored clothes or all dress in jeans with matching t-shirts or team jerseys. The walkers can be taught a simple choreography for their marching. Members may carry at chest height signs to spell out their club messages or post signs on sturdy yard stakes or brooms for height. Members can carry cardboard 3-D letters or colorful flags.. They can carry a long banner attached to a closet rod or in hand; Balloons connected on a fishing line can make an arch over the whole group, or individuals can carry clusters of color-coordinated balloons on ribbon strands. To encourage team spirit, a group could carry posters on yardsticks with enlarged faces of the players.
Bicycles, golf carts and the like can be decorated with crepe paper streamers and tinsels in school colors. Foam core or vinyl boards make the best posters since they are strong enough to stand up without flopping over. Color-coordinated duct tapes and masking tapes will allow club members to create attractive vehicles without ugly tape showing while holding things together.
A traditional float can be made from a wood or PVC frame, chicken wire stuffed with colored paper tissue or fabric covering, perhaps with elaborate props, built or placed on the back of a pickup truck or flatbed trailer. This type of float generally takes the longest to build, and will be the most expensive. A large group of people may need several days to build this kind of float. It will require good teamwork and some plans. Keep in mind how time consuming it can be to make everything. The frame will take the most skill, while the decorating will take the most time. The more participants helping with the decorating will speed the process.
Make your school spirit parade an exciting kick-off to a special school homecoming celebration! Enjoy!