Neighbors Building A Float


The Parade is Coming

This past weekend, I started hearing loud music, and a lot of voices near the front of my home.  This is typically unusual in my neighborhood, as it is most times a quite laid back kind of place.   I looked out the window and noticed a ton of people over at my neighbor’s house.  There were probably at least 50 people at there house, both adults, and kids that looked to be about 14-15 years old.   I watched them through the window for a little while, and then couldn’t stand it so I went out to see what these people were up to.   I have a good relationship with my neighbor’s so it was ok for me to be a little nosy.

So, What’s Up?

I noticed most everyone was gathered around this one area of the driveway, all looking down at something.  At first it scared me thinking someone was hurt and that they were all looking down upon them, but as I got closer I could tell that was not the case.  It appeared they were building something, but what in the heck were they building?

It turns out they were building a parade float.  Wanting in on some of this fun, I offered to help, and was welcomed into the group with open arms.  I mean who is going to turn down free labor when it is offered.

What Should I Help With?

I looked around and there were so many different things I could help with.   Sitting over in the grass were some girls folding the different color of napkins and tissues into “flowers” that will be used to stuff into the sides of the float.  Sorry girls, that seems a little boring to me.

On one section of the driveway there were multiple panels that were already assembled that will be the sides of the float.  These panels needed to have the outer edge frame screwed on, and then chicken wire stabled to allow the area for the “flowers” to be stuffed in.   I noticed a power screwdriver not in use, so I grabbed it and put myself to work.

Mark and Tyler, two of the people there helping out, came over to lend me a hand.  They held the border in place, while I screwed it down to the base of the panel.  We did this same routine to four of the panels, and then it was time to apply the chicken wire.  We rolled it out, and Tyler manned the staple gun while Mark, and I held the chicken wire taunt across the panel.

Taping the Design

I kind of felt bad, about jumping in the middle of their project, but no one really seemed to object.   Now it was time to start taping out the design.  I stepped to the side for this part and watched some of the kiddos get to work at transferring the drawing from their piece of paper onto the panels of the float.

Using a tape measure, and tape the kiddos worked for the next hour taping up the panels.  I was pretty impressed by the time they had finished.   Here is how the design turned out.

parade float float

It is kind of hard to see, but the tape is on top of the chicken wire.   The blue tape indicates where they will stuff the different color “flowers” to make the design.   On each piece of blue tape they wrote what color it should be.   This is as far as we made it on the float for this one day.   There will be a few more meetings to get things stuffed and ready for the parade next month.

I have never been part of making a float, and really had under estimated the amount of work that actually goes into making a float. I wish I had taken a picture of the actual design that was on the paper that the kiddos had followed.  It pretty much looked exactly like how they have the tape laid out.

As always, it is pretty amazing to see what people can do when they come together to work as a team.   It is also refreshing to see how a group of people will welcome in a stranger to be a part of the team.  Of course I did not the neighbors, but I didn’t know all of their friends that were there to help.   They all treated me like one of the gang and for that I am grateful.    I had so much fun helping out with the first phase of building this float.

If you have any questions about the process of how we built this up to this point, contact me, and I will be glad to explain further.