A few years ago, my parents got this crazy idea to have a 4th of July Neighborhood Parade. My dad had a flatbed trailer that was perfect for a “parade float” and there were tons of kids in the neighborhood, so why not? We put together that first parade and marched it around the neighborhoods. We had so much fun that we held our 4th of July Neighborhood Parade the following year and we would have done it that year after that had my dad’s flatbed trailer not been stolen.
Having a 4th of July Neighborhood Parade is a great tradition to start. It’s fun, pretty simple, and can also be a good way to bring neighbors together. If you want to hold your own, here are some of my tips on hosting a 4th of July neighborhood parade from our experience.
(Note: Depending on the size of your parade, you may want to contact your city to find out if there are any rules. Ours was always small enough that we could just go around the neighborhood with no trouble.)
How to Host a 4th of July Neighborhood Parade
1) Gather Parade Walkers and Riders
We kept our 4th of July Neighborhood Parade small and held it on 4th of July Morning around 10AM. It was my dad driving his Explorer and hauling the flatbed, some of the kids rode bikes, and the rest of us walked. Our parade walkers and riders were immediate family and close friends. We thought about inviting others in the neighborhood to join, but then who would watch the neighborhood parade if everyone was in it?
2) Plan Your Parade Route
A Neighborhood Parade should avoid any busy streets as to not tie up traffic. We kept it to side streets and kept it to a 5 block by 3 block radius that we drove around.
3) Decorate Your Float and Bikes
If you don’t have a flatbed to decorate for a float, a truck bed works great too. You can also just walk, ride bikes and scooters, and pull wagons. Bikes, scooters, and wagons can all be decorated as well! We used a lot of leftover 4th of July Decorations from the previous years, picked up items at yard sales and on clearance as well. Weaving streamers through bike tires was one of the kids favorite things to do! Have small flags on hand for walkers to carry.
4) Create a Patriotic Playlist
We recorded a Patriotic Songs onto a CD that my dad played in the Explorer. You could also download one on to a phone as well. Playing the music during your neighborhood parade is a great way to let the neighbors know you are coming. If you pick familiar and easy songs, everyone can sing along.
5) Have Candy for Parade Watchers
Kids love having candy or other small items tossed to them while watching a parade. Have the kids carry small sacks or buckets and let them toss things to the parade watchers as they are walking by.
6) Let The Neighborhood Know
Let the neighborhood know about your parade! Tell them on social media, hang signs in the area, or just surprise them! Either way, your 4th of July Neighborhood Parade will be a ton of fun and a huge success!
What are your tips for holding a 4th of July Neighborhood Parade?
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