10 Winter and Holiday Parade Float Theme Ideas

Winter and Holiday Parade Float Theme IdeasNeed winter and holiday parade float ideas? The holidays are upon us. In this article, we will give you some parade float ideas and concepts — ranging from the fun, colorful and popular to the classic or one-of-a-kind — and how you can make your parade float stand out this season.

  1. Winter Wonderland

This is a staple among holiday parade floats and it never fails to amaze. In bright royal blue and white, this beautiful theme still has its fans.

2. Frozen

The modern take on the classic Winter Wonderland theme, this beautiful concept is quite popular with the younger set even years after the hit Disney movie was released.

  • Recreate Queen Elsa’s dramatic scene of unleashing her powers by building a raised structure with working stairs. Use plenty of royal blue, aqua and white shades; balance with silver accents.
  • Make sure to add cardboard cutouts or live performers to act as the characters.
  • Create palace-looking columns by adding snowflakes, glitter and faux snow (see our tutorial on making snow).
  • Scatter snowflake structures and pieces throughout the trailer.

3. Snow Globe

Capture the magic of Christmas with these charming parade float ideas.

  • To emphasize the beauty of the snow globe structure, keep the rest of the trailer design simple yet elegant. Dress up the trailer bed with iridescent floral sheeting.
  • Add flex lights to go around the base of the globe and along the sides of the trailer bed.
  • Populate the inside of the snow globe with life-like characters and create a story.

4. Polar Express Train

Take people on the express ride to holiday happiness with this delightful theme. This is quite basic and easy to put up and the best thing about it is you can add as many accessories as you deem necessary.

  • Build a train car-like structure with the top off. Provide benches on the trailer for anyone to go riding on the trailer.
  • Paint the outside of the “train car” and trim the top parts with holly or green twists or festooning.
  • Using our letter kits, decorate the side of the “train car” with the words “The Polar Express”. Paint the letters with gold or silver.
  • To go with the yuletide theme, ask the people on the trailer to dress up as either Santa, elves, or some other Christmas character.

5. Gingerbread House

Nothing quite like a fun theme like a Gingerbread House to entertain the crowd especially kids.

  • Keep the overall design bright, colorful and appealing. Add faux peppermint and candy cane accents to make things even more cheery.
  • Use lights to trim the eaves and corners of the structure and along the edge of the trailer.
  • Decorate the trailer bed with iridescent floral sheeting and add bits of snow on the roof of and the path towards the gingerbread house.
  • Hand out snacks, candies and other munchies during the parade to make the gingerbread effect come alive.

6. Nativity Scene

Religious parade float ideas show the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas is a significant celebration among the religious and the faithful. Go for this theme to emphasize a strong message of hope, blessedness and Godly grace.

  • There are several ways on how you can achieve a simple yet elegant nativity scene presentation.

— Use cardboard or wood cutouts of the figures and paint them in white or in full color

— Use 3D models to make the scene more life-like

— Have actors play out the scene every few minutes or at specific points in the parade route

  • Use as much lights as needed to brighten up the trailer. Create beam-like effects toward the baby Jesus by extending lights from the star towards the crib.

7. Evergreen

Green is the color of hope and new beginnings that’s why this simple yet understated concept is quite refreshing and would be a welcome sight during the parade.

  • Build an enchanting woodland forest with cardboard cutouts of trees or use fresh-cut, real ones to keep it authentic.
  • To keep the contrast more dramatic, deck the trailer bed with iridescent floral sheeting. Add a dusting of faux snow on top the trees.
  • Add cardboard cutout animals or ask actors to play out roles.

8. North Pole

Beat the holiday chill with a cool theme like this.

  • Create a large enough-sized igloo structure and make sure it’s securely fastened or adhered to the trailer bed.
  • Decorate the trailer bed with iridescent floral sheeting and plenty of faux snow.
  • Populate the North Pole scene with penguins, polar bears and elves from cardboard cutouts. Or ask actors to play out some of the characters (especially Santa Claus and some of the elves). If the igloo is big enough, the characters can go in and out of the igloo and have them bring out snacks, candies and other giveaways to the audience.

9. Naughty or Nice

Keep people guessing whether they made it to Santa’s list with this fun theme.

  • Create box-like structures as the focal points of the trailer. Make sure that these “gifts” are as sturdy as possible so “elves” can climb on top them during the parade. Paint them in vibrant shades or wrap them in colorful patterned paper.
  • Add a cutout of a mega-sized scroll as Santa’s list.
  • Ask actors to play out characters (Santa, Mrs. Claus or the helper elves). And as the parade goes, have them point out to the crowd and “check the list” if people made it to the list or not.

10. Candy Factory

The holidays are all about spreading happiness and cheer. So keep it merry, bright and fun this season with a Candy Factory-themed parade float.

  • Emphasize the gaiety of the festivities with bright accents and decors like overlarge peppermints, candy canes, lollipops and other colourfully-wrapped sweets.
  • Add plenty of lights to attract the crowd.
  • Be sure to have a bunch of treats and goodies to throw out to the audience.


Check out ParadeFloatSuppliesNow.com for parade float ideas and everything you could need to build an incredible winter or holiday parade float.

Christmas Parade Floats: 5 Must-Haves

Christmas Parade FloatsThere is nothing quite like the sight of bright reds and greens to get everyone into a festive, holiday mood, but what else do you need to make your Christmas parade floats look fabulous for the season? Here are our top five picks:


As classically appealing as ever, Christmas trees and evergreens never fail to put us all in good spirits. They bring a sense of hope and cheer that this holiday just might be the best yet.

When choosing trees for Christmas parade floats, consider the size of the trailer and the possible weight it can hold. If you can’t find a real tree that will fit with the rest of your float decors, you might want to opt for plastic or full-color cardboard standup versions that are just as delightful; they weigh less, too, so there would be less strain for the trailer. If you are going for a non-traditional holiday parade float concept, then our set of Lit Trees will work perfectly for you. They come with floral sheeting in your choice of metallic shades that will certainly catch the eye of the audience and enhance the overall look of your design.


Sure it’s fun to dream of a white Christmas. But it’s better to make it a reality and adopt it into your Christmas parade floats design.

Create a snowy landscape effortlessly with our Snow Floral Sheeting (also available in iridescent). Available in easy-to-use rolls, these floral sheetings will dress up the trailer bed in no time. Sprinkle some artificial snow onto your other decors or dust them off into other areas of the trailer. We will share some secrets with you on how to achieve this in our next articles.


Lights put the “merry and bright” into the holidays. So make sure that you have plenty to dress up your float.

When you don’t have the time to mess with wiring or if space is limited, the best solution for your lighting needs is to use Flex Lights. Encased in flexible see-through cables, these lights are optimized for outdoor use — no need to worry about these getting wet or malfunction when there is a slight drizzle or when snow is falling.

Start off by adding lights to all the major design pieces of your Christmas parade floats — trees, backdrops and other focal points. If you’re going with a gingerbread house or a castle, make sure that lights run through the structure’s outline; this makes it more visible especially during the twilight or evening. Add more lighting effects as you see fit. Use strips of fairy lights, strobes, or projections to make your design more fun.

Costumed Characters

What’s Christmas without all the delightful characters? Santa, Elf, Reindeer and more! Call up the magic of the yuletide and populate your Christmas parade floats with any or a combination of them.

Cardboard standups are a great way of adding these characters to your float. They’re bright, colorful and lightweight so they’re easy to move around and set up.

Have a live performer dress up as a reindeer or any of the elves especially if you’re going for a Santa’s workshop concept. Extra points if you can have someone (or better yet a couple) to play up as Santa or Mrs. Claus to enliven your Christmas parade floats.


Think sleigh, Christmas balls, holly, candy canes, stockings, gifts and presents, stars, bells, North Pole light stand kit, ribbons — these and more will certainly add a joyous feel to your design. Explore the whole gamut of holiday decors to tie up your concept nicely.

Bonus Tips

Music — Fill the air with jubilant, heartwarming tunes; no one will be able to ignore your float if you can make it as party-ready as you can.

Letter Kits — Spelling out a holiday message can be fun; grab a bunch of these letters and dress up the sides of your trailer or backdrop.

Complete Parade Float Kits — When you don’t have the luxury of time to come up with a new concept, these will do in a pinch (and very nicely, too, as they’re filled with everything cheery to get you decorating).

Giveaways — The heart of the season involves a lot of giving so make sure you have plenty of goodies, sweets and treats to hand out to spectators. See our Giveaways for more ideas.

Should I Have a Parade Float Mascot?

parade float mascots

Now that your parade float is just about ready (please read our awesome guides and tips on how to build parade floats), now is the perfect time to pick what other accessories you can add to make your float stand out. A Parade Float Mascot can be a great addition!

One popular method is to use mascots. But what are mascots exactly? And how can they help you gain and retain the audience’s attention?

  • -Mascots are branding elements used for merchandising, advertising or promoting a company or organization. They become that company’s representative, symbol or communication link to the public.

-In the past, mascots are thought to be bringers of good luck, the idea of which can still apply now. Mascots that are able to resonate with the public raises the public’s awareness of the company, directly or indirectly, affecting the company’s popularity, rise in sales, etc.
-They function as ambassadors of goodwill to spectators and audience. This is especially true during games or exhibitions where people can have their photos taken with the team mascot. A friendly mascot somehow paints a picture of the friendliness and approachability of the team or company it represents.

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How to Build a Parade Float

how to build a parade floatParade floats are an amazing sight to see during celebrations and on very important events. Many times we are asked how to build a parade float. Surprisingly, they’re easy enough to build with the right steps, materials, great ideas and a lot of patience and helping hands. Try our easy-to-follow guide on building a parade float:

1. Brainstorm for ideas.

Discuss with your team the theme or design of the float including the color motif and materials you’re going to use. Here are the important questions to consider before building your float.

How big is the float? How elaborate is its design?

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Parade Float Image Contest – Win $100!

Parade Float Contest

Upload an image (or 2!) of your parade floats and you could win $100 in supplies. Show us your parade float! Use our supplies for a chance to win merchandising credit.

1st Place: $100
2nd Place: $75
3rd Place: $50

*Contest runs July 1, 2017 to August 1, 2017. You may submit an entry once per day. Winner will be announced on our Facebook page and contacted through email.

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DIY: Paper Parade Float Flowers

DIY paper tissue parade float flowersIf you’re constructing your own custom parade float–building with wood or chicken wire–you’ll need something to cover up unsightly pieces of construction. With this simple guide, you can create paper parade float flowers in any color or pattern you want. Get a group of friends together, get some supplies, and get those flowers blooming!

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Patriotic Parade Float Tips and Ideas

patriotic parade float

You can make your next float look just as good as this one!

It can be overwhelming to create a parade float from scratch. If you’re making a patriotic display for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, we’ve got you covered. Parade Float Supplies Now has a huge selection of patriotic, red-white-and-blue items you can mix and match to build something you can be proud of. You can come up with your own idea and build your float from scratch with our patriotic supplies, or you can make it easier on yourself and grab a complete patriotic parade float decorating kit with everything you need included for a unique jaw-dropping design. For more inspiration, take a look at patriotic customer creations at the bottom of this post

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