By Kathy Groob, Publisher ElectWomen.com–Independence Day Parades are a time for candidates to show off and build some much-needed name recognition. You can always tell a challenger candidate by the size of their entourage and number of vehicles trailing along the parade route. A successful parade campaign takes planning and a good pair of walking shoes. Voters need to see candidates at work. Walking and sweating along a parade route is a great way to show your commitment.
How to Have a Successful Parade:
Follow all parade rules—arrive on time and have your group together before entering the parade assembly area.
- Make sure all your volunteers know the exact meeting place and time.
- Plan transportation for walkers who will need a ride back to their cars.
- Bring coolers of water and ice—walking in high temperatures along hot pavement will wilt even the toughest of parade marchers.
- Send volunteers along the parade route in advance to distribute stickers and campaign fans (if you have them).
- Strategically place yard signs in advance along parade routes –parade participants are voters too!
- Bring buckets, pails and baskets to carry candy and stickers along the parade route. Place campaign bumper stickers on the buckets and baskets; use every place you can to display your candidate’s name.
- Don’t forget a bucket of dog biscuits for all the dogs along the parade route; you’ll gain a voter for sure!
- A cooler full of ice pops for kids and little bags of popcorn with candidate stickers on them are big hits with the crowd.
- If your campaign can afford it, wave flags, play music and make your float/vehicles as festive as possible.
- Walkers should wear campaign t-shirts and patriotic scarves, hats if possible.
- If rain is in the forecast, bring some ponchos and umbrellas. Most parades continue even it if is raining.
- Candidate should walk if at all possible; shaking hands and waving to people along the route. Wear good, comfortable shoes–don’t risk a blister and infection.
- Volunteers wear campaign t-shirts, but the candidate should wear business casual clothes, nice shirt, khakis, linen slacks, skirts. The candidate is the candidate and should stand out.
- Have someone take photographs along the parade route –parade photos are great for website and social media.