Painless Parade Planning

Why are Parades Important?

  • You have the ability to personally meet and get your name in front of THOUSANDS OF VOTERS
  • You have the opportunity to show energy, excitement and support
  • By working hard at the parade, you can prove to voters you will work hard if elected

Pre-Parade Planning (2+ Weeks Out)

  • Get signed up! Earlier the Better
  • Recruit Volunteers – More is Better!
  • Order Lapel Stickers
  • Order T-­Shirts
  • Order Signs
  • Secure Vehicle to Use
  • Book Photographer
  • Sound System

Pre-Parade Planning (1 Week Out)

  • Doorknock town week before the parade
  • Secure lawn sign locations on main street
  • Recruit volunteers – more is better!
  • Print Parade Program
  • Determine Volunteer Meeting Spot (at end of parade)
  • Shuttle System to Get People to Parade Unit
  • Got Flags?
  • Purchase Candy
  • Purchase Water/Soda for Volunteers
  • Volunteer Reminder Calls (parade line up number if known)

Pre-Parade Planning (Day Before)

  • Wash Parade Vehicle
  • Load vehicle(s) with all supplies (don’t forget umbrellas!)
  • Communicate parade line up number to volunteers

SHOW TIME! – Day of Parade

  • Signs go up early – 3 plus hours before parade
  • Arrive at designated meeting spot a minimum of 90 minutes before parade starts
  • Candidate greets volunteers as they arrive
  • Move parade vehicle(s) and signs, candy, water/soda to line up number and volunteers begin to decorate
  • Distribute t-shirts to volunteers as they arrive and begin to shuttle them to line up area
  • Last shuttle leaves 30-45 minutes before parade starts and brings remaining volunteers and supplies. Drop them off and return to meeting spot at end of parade route
  • 60 minutes before parade starts, candidate, photographer and volunteers walk the parade
  • Volunteers sticker both sides of street
  • Candidate casually works crowd – until parade starts – shaking hands with people on both sides of street – this is prime time for photographs!
  • Candidate joins unit and works parade again from beginning until end
  • One volunteer is the “barker” who announces the candidate along parade route
  • Other volunteers wave signs, pass out lapel stickers and candy, hoot, holler and make noise
  • It’s a parade, not a funeral procession – have fun!

End of Parade

  • THANK THE CANDIDATE (who should be physically and emotionally exhausted if they’ve worked hard)
  • THANK THE VOLUNTEERS
  • Collect t-shirts from volunteers to be used at next parade (better yet, volunteers walk around at the town celebration all day wearing your t-shirt!)
  • Disassemble parade unit(s)

 Parade DO’S & DONT’S

  • Candidate ALWAYS walks the parade route
  • Hustle back and forth from one side of the street to the other mee?ng voters – show them you will work hard!
  • Don’t fall behind and get separated from your unit!
  • Be organized!
  • There are hundreds or thousands of voters waiting to meet you – avoid the classic parade mistake of standing around and talking to volunteers or other candidates before the parade starts – USE THIS TIME TO MEET VOTERS
  • You should not join your unit until the parade starts

Parade Photo MUST-HAVES

  • Large group of supporters holding signs (near unit)
  • Small groups of supporters holding signs
  • Candidate shaking hands with people along parade route (take many of these)
  • Candidate with military honor guard (1st in line)
  • Candidate with police/fire/EMT/ (2nd in line)