Parade Hand-out suggestions please

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Kay Nein's picture
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We have been asked to participate in the local July 4th parade this coming weekend.  We're working on banners and have an antique truck that we'll be driving.  I need to figure out what to throw to the crowd. 

We will try to rush an order of can coozies.  We will also be tossing out candy from the truck bed.  I really want to hand out something that has our information on it.  I was thinking about attaching business cards to something.  Because once us & our truck/banner pass them by, I want to ensure they have something in their hands that has our information.  Because I bake alot of fresh, homemade stuff I though that something along those lines would be a great representation.  We'd be the only ones handing out _______.  I envisioned a clear wrapping that would be tied with twine with our business card attached (hole-punched & tied on).  Two of us would be walking on either side of the truck handing out the goodies, so they wouldn't be thrown & fought over by the kids.  They would be gently handed out. 

  • a mini-muffin individually wrapped?
  • a red-white-blue refridgerator cookie?
  • one of my signature oatmeal cookies?

I'd appreciate some ideas on what to hand out as well as any considerations that I might not have thought of.  I've never done this before - I'm always in the crowd =)

 

Kay Nein's picture
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We are allowed to throw candy.  It's a small town & the parade route is about 1/2 a mile and it goes pretty slow.  The street is not wide, so the crowd is very close to the people throwing the candy.  

I like those organza bags - that was what I had envisioned.  With a little more time, I would go that route.  We don't have craft stores here and I've looked for goodie bags at the dollar store with no luck.  I'm used to living in big cities where you can find anything you need.  I might have to improvise.  Cutting the corner off a sandwich bag, filling it & gathering will work, but it's time consuming!  

We just placed an order for can koozies - 500 of them.  We might just throw out in addition to generic candy.  I just want to make sure they have something with our information in their hands once we drive off. 

Now I have to go design our 4'x8' banner.  Not up for that task!

Ice
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K9 wrote:

 We don't have craft stores here and I've looked for goodie bags at the dollar store with no luck.  I'm used to living in big cities where you can find anything you need.  I might have to improvise. 

Boy I know how you feel!  

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K9, I hear you!  When I moved here from a "big" city, I was challenged to find just about everything that I was used to having access to.  Save the bags for the next time.    Good luck and have fun with this!

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Do this every year at the town Lawn Party Parade but we are not allowed to throw candy (kids run into the street  and are a hazard). My truck has my logo on doors and back gate. Boy Scouts walk beside the truck handing out candy.It qualifys them for a service metal they are working on.

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seashanty's picture
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where i live in southern massachusetts, they toss candy from the floats. and a few walkers beside the floats toss it.  or hand it out. but mostly they toss it.  last parade here was st. patrick's day in march. they also do this in my home town on the north shore of massachusetts.  tossing candy which i'm not a big fan of ... little kids running up and picking it up off the ground.  they always do. 

the realtors and bankers all give out helium filled balloons with their firm name on them ... they get a lot of mileage out of those.

if i had the budget, for next year i'd try to give out goodie bags.  i'm thinking of the brown paper bags with the sturdy handles  ... they are about the size of lunch bags ... with a sticker of the b&b name or logo on it ... something like that would be held onto by the gatherers.  at least for a little while.

 

 

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I like the M&M idea...if you have a source to get them in your signature B&B colors (we did this for wedding rehearsal dinner favors) or look for the holiday red/white/blue ones, that could be cool.  Check your dollar store or craft store for wedding candy favor containers or small bags.  They are really inexpensive and hold fewer than a zip loc bag.  Cinching them or closing a favor box with ribbon that matches your inn logo colors or something patriotic and attaching a biz card should do the trick and will look more professional, I think.  If I can put them together in a hotel room, I think you can manage this!  Have fun with it!

Here is an organza bag as an example.  I've seen these at the dollar store in packs of 10 for $1. 

Joey Camb's picture
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are you sure its ok to thrown candy? remember in another thread it was a no no for health and safety.

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Madeleine's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

are you sure its ok to thrown candy? remember in another thread it was a no no for health and safety.

Most towns don't allow throwing candy any longer, but it's ok to toss from close by. As in walking right up to someone and 'tossing' the candy into their open hand.

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seashanty's picture
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 I looked back for an old thread about this and jb gave out personalized mini shampoos I think she said and very popular ... If you have something like that on hand.

Kay Nein's picture
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Downtown is a huge tourist draw and we are walking distance from all the restaurants, shopping and very popular train station & scenic railroad ride.  The people who come up to rent cabins in the mountains spend their time in the downtown area.  Our big draw is that people can park here & then walk to everything.  It's the reason most of our guests choose us.  During events such as this, there will be locals attending, but mostly tourists.  I was talking to a local marketing lady about our desire to market in a bigger radius because there's alot of tourist traffic coming north from Atlanta.  They said that we need to market more locally first because there's not enough people who even know we are here or have bad memories of the place being filty from the previous owners.  Also, we've had locals direct their family to stay with us when they come to visit because they don't have room in their house. The tourist draw is big here, but helping the locals realize we're here and that we are under new ownership is just as important to us.  And since we just took over in February, at least this time we need to come out strong and then gauge it when deciding whether to participate next year.

M&Ms is a great idea - no breakage or need to be careful with them, no prep work (except putting the pkgs together)

We are already inspected by the health dept, so I think that lets us give things that are made in our kitchen to the public.  But, thank you for the reminder to call them - will definitely so that.

This isn't the kind of place that people come once and that's it.  They come once, fall in love with it and then plan to come back & spend more time.  So, we want them to remember us when they plan their next trip up here.  

 

Madeleine's picture
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Kind of too bad it is so last minute...M&M's can be logo'd with your inn name. You can buy them by the pound and then sort them into little gift bags with your biz card.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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K9 wrote:

We are already inspected by the health dept, so I think that lets us give things that are made in our kitchen to the public.  But, thank you for the reminder to call them - will definitely so that.

In most cases, a b&b that is inspected by the health dept is not allowed to cook anything other than breakfast. Of course it changes with every state and every county/city. Always good to know what you can and can't do.

I like the m&m idea. You might be able to get little net pouches at your local craft store which can make it quick and easy to make them up. Attach a card and it'll be a little goody everyone will love and a lot less time commitment.

Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

 You're right, Breakfast Diva - they did tell us we were only allowed to cook breakfast.  Makes the M&M idea sound even  better =)  That's probably the way we are going to go.  Much easier - I always tend to make things more difficult trying to make it more special.  Doesn't always work out that way!

seashanty's picture
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re: the cookies, that's lovely but a lot of work for you unless you can get a local news interview out of it?

ps I'm  using my tablet and have to break up my posts.

seashanty's picture
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 we tended to have locals send visitors to us, so not a total bust. IF I  had time & big budget, I'd get personalized mini frizbees or beach balls, but that is $$ to get a little notice.

seashanty's picture
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 I'd put m&m's in little baggies, tape shut and then tie with ribbon or twine.  Fasten your biz card as you said or print out labels and stick on.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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If it's a small local parade, I agree with CL. It's great to support your local community, but I wouldn't go to all the work of making things. If you do want to make goodies, I would check with your county health department. Ours would never allow us to do what you're suggesting. Wrapped candy, sure. Homemade goodies? Never

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05/22/2008

Will there be alot of tourists in town? Or is this a small town local parade? Sorry to be negative on this....but I found doing things for the locals is usually a waste of time and money. It never brought in guests.

If you want to be in the parade, that is fine to show your spirit for the holiday and the town. Just toss out the candy like the others and don't worry about making this a marketing thing.  I would think handing out your packaged and marked goodies would be better else done at an event where it would be more appreciated. 

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