Parades are a ton of fun. They entertain children, promote businesses, and drive people to small towns, all things we truly value as an organization.
When organizing your parade, take some time to look at what feel are fundamental guidelines to follow to ensure everyone’s safety. We suggest putting these safety guidelines in your Parade Cloud ‘Parade Rules’ tab for all of your participants to see and adhere to.
- Start by creating your written safety plan. This plan will outline your safety standards and should be shared with all of your float drivers, participants, and volunteers. It would also be advantageous to have these notes readily available for your security and city officials as well.
- Establish a designed route that takes into consideration the regulations set in place regarding schools, hospitals, and jails. Also, notify residents and businesses that are on your parade route well in advance of the event so they too can adequately prepare for potential traffic and road closures.
- When it comes to driving the float, a walking pace is the speed we recommend to operate the vehicle. When approaching a designated stop, float drivers MUST inform their riders of the upcoming stop, so they have time to brace themselves. We also recommend at least 30 feet between floats to ensure the walker’s safety and to prevent collisions with other floats.
- Participants should always keep a safe distance from the float if they are walking alongside it. Hopping on and off the moving float is a great way to get hurt, so please stay safe and wait for the float to make a complete stop.
- If animals are included in your parade, have safety measures in place, so they aren’t being spooked to avoid an incident. You will also need a team/person in place for any animal waste that should need to be cleaned up.
- Your parade organizer should have designated loading and unloading spots for you to meet up at before and after the parade. By being organized in advance, you will significantly reduce or eliminate potential accidents as there will probably be a lot of other floats and people to navigate around.
- Have specific signs or ropes to line the streets so your spectators can watch from a safe distance, and so they know where to sit and watch the excitement.
- Many towns have eliminated the ability to throw candy and have moved to a safer form of candy distribution; handing it out. Candy is great, but throwing candy to kids who have nothing on their mind but candy is a recipe for disaster. These rules are put in place, so children don’t get ran over or trampled in the streets while running for candy.
- Insurance, whether it is required or not by your local municipality, we highly recommend it as you can never be too safe when it comes to liability and people’s safety.
- It is highly suggested to have volunteers walking along the parade float with garbage bags ready to pick up debris from the floats, spectators, and animals.
- Secure your floats. It may seem like a silly thing to say, but there is nothing more scary for the kids than seeing Santa take a tumble because his sleigh wasn’t properly secured.