How to Make Your Own Thanksgiving Parade: Be a Neighborhood Hero

All of the Kids for Miles (at Least Blocks) Will Forever Adore You for This Simple Event
I always dreamed of being in a parade or even just watching one, but it never happened until I was 31 years old. I had to work on homecoming and the closest my parents came to taking me was watching the Thanksgiving parade on TV. I always saw the crowds there and the happy people on TV as they watch all of the floats and everyone talks about how great this one was or how much they loved that part, yet I just had to sit back and wonder. It wasn’t until I was too old to appreciate the experience that I finally got to see one. It would be a great travesty of justice to deny your kids of this wondrous stroll of the imagination. I understand that many people can not travel to New York or farther to see one of the great parades and many small towns have lost their events, so what is a parent to do?

Start your own parade!

This is a lot simpler to do than one might think. It is also relatively cheap. The first thing you will need is people to be in the parade. The invites for the floats will need to be determined by the size of your parade. This is the tricky part. On most residential streets and suburbs, many police will not care or even know that a parade is happening. The city is a bit different. You may want to stop by the police station and see what permits or requests you will need to fill out for your area. These are usually free or very cheap, only charging a filling fee. A group of children creating floats from their Power Wheels and wagons would be allowed anywhere, but if the parents get involved and you make floats from cars and get a whole procession, you may need to ask permission before the traffic starts to back up. Most police stations will be very helpful in this and will point you in the right direction. If you can not get a permit, do not fret. This just means that your parade will have to be limited to the children decorating their bikes and things and riding slowly down the sidewalk for everyone’s enjoyment.
Now that you know the size of your parade, the planning can move on. This is the same regardless of the size of the event. You can also get everyone involved. The kids can start to make their floats, or families can all get together and spend some great time with each other as they work to make the best float that they can. You can even get the “old folks” down the street to come watch and judge the floats, or just emcee the event like it were a live broadcast. Prizes can be handed out to all participants or just the winners of the different categories.

The biggest thing to remember is that this is your parade. Just like all across the nation, every parade is different. It may last one block or a dozen blocks. It may have livestock or a marching band, or it could be bikes with tissue paper. Everyone likes different things and different neighborhoods have more or less people. This is really where you need to use your imagination. If there are several different opinions, have several different parades. They can all be fun and exciting, especially for the younger crowd.

Big or small this can become a great time for everyone. It can even become a neighborhood tradition that is repeated year to year or even season to season. The best part of it all is the joy and memories that you will be giving to the children of your neighborhood, possibly through the end of time. It is something relatively inexpensive and simple but will build great friendships and fond recollections of a happy and fulfilled childhood. Who knows, they may even name the next city park after you.

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