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.