Building a Parade Float Can Be Easy with Help From Shindigz!
We had the opportunity to be in the 3 Rivers Festival Parade on July 12th, 2014. We partnered up with WOWO News/Talk 1190 AM & 92.3 FM here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The theme of the parade was “Reflecting on our Rivers” due to the 3 Rivers that cruise through the downtown area (St. Mary’s, St. Joseph and Maumee). To make it more fun, we added a Mardi Gras theme to the boat.
The first step in building a float is coming up with a design. We are lucky to have such talented people here at Shindigz! Here is the River Boat Design that Mick Ray came up with and then we made a giant checklist to keep on task.
After coming up with the design, we got to work right away! Here, Mick Ray (designer of the float) is putting up the center walls to house the inside of our River Boat. Then, Kris Gilman (HR) and Kristen Baumert (Social Media) got to work painting the smoke stacks, made of PVC pipe. The smoke stacks would be inserted with a tube to emit the “smoke” created by a few CO2 tanks to give it the “ooh and ahh” effect we wanted the boat to have.
The center of the boat came together quite nicely. We used a staple gun to add the corex walls to the wood. Then we added the blue and white metallic fringe to the bottom of the trailer to make it look like it was on water.
The front of the trailer had a tool box. We wanted our mascot, Shindigity, to sit on the box. So, we covered that with purple floral sheeting. Then our summer social media interns added gold streamer to the inside posts of the cabin with a staple gun.
Megan Keebler, Haylie Hendrickson and Paige Norton (social media interns) used the purple floral sheeting on the floor of the float, as well as on the polls that we used to hold up our Shindigz flags and Mardi Gras pennants.
After we got all the pieces of the float on that were travel-safe, a group of us drove the float to the downtown area to get in line for the parade! The finishing touches would then be put on after we were in line. It was 6 am, so we made sure we got our coffee first! So, the float now consisted of the corex printed pieces for the walls, backdrop and railings, metalic fringe for the water effects and the inside of the cabin, 4″ metallic streamer for covering all of the wooden posts, gold foil curtains to cover the doorways, and feather boas to cover the corners and create flowing movement on the float.
Now we’re all lined up for the parade! Time to put the finishing touches on and fix the small pieces that came undone on the way there. We attached our wheels to make the boat seem like it was traveling down the river. The insides of the wheel were able to spin by using some PVC pieces. Also, we attached our Shindigz flags and the Mardi Gras pennant banners to the center of the float.
We’re all ready for the judges to come by and we are happy to find out we won an award. Our hard work had paid off! Christy Phend (eCommerce) and Shantel Sleighter (Online Content Mgr.) were happy to pose with the new plaque we received. Plus, preceding our float was this banner saying what we had won (Best Use of Festival Theme)!
Now that we got the award out of the way, we were ready to have some SHINDIGZ FUN! After all, that is what we do: #MakeLifeMoreFun
We even met a few new mascots! Like Icey from the Fort Wayne Komets (posing with his Shindigz Big Head held by Jacquie Downey, Director of Sales), Charlie Cardinal from Ball State University (posing with some BSU grads), and everyone else who wore a costume…
We wanted to include some of the famous people from Fort Wayne on our float, but they were all busy… so we created some really cool Big Heads to represent them. These were just really fun and everyone enjoyed taking pictures with them. They were easy to spot coming down through the parade as well! We had Tyler Eifert (Bishop Dwenger graduate, Notre Dame Football Player and now tight end for the Cincinnati Bengals), Mayor of Fort Wayne, Tom Henry, The Mad Ants basketball mascot, Johnny TinCap from the Fort Wayne TinCaps baseball team and a few others not pictured were Icey (shown above) and Mike Nutter (President of the Fort Wayne TinCaps).
Craig Atterberry, who played our mascot Shindigity (available from Shindigz), had a fun time giving high fives to the crowd and posing with Little Miss Fort Wayne.
Shop Shindigz for all your Parade items! Getting involved in your community is important and can be FUN!
WATCH the VIDEO! See how we #MakeLifeMoreFun!