Participating in parades

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snow4jc

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Hi,
Our town is having a Festival this week and on Friday night there is a parade. We were asked by the parade chairman to be in it and after talking with the family, have decided to do it! We're still new and many townspeople don't know we exist. (The internet is our major source of guests) so we're hoping to make a dent in some local maketing. The parade is a mile and since we're new entries, it cost $50.00 to enter.
I'm just curious if any of you have ever participated in a parade? I even did a poll for some quick results ;) We were encouraged to hand out flyers & candy, both of which we wanted to do anyway. We're a midwestern town ~ pop. about 33,000. I can't think of a reason not to do this .... aside from the entry fee and cost of flyers/candy.
Thanks for your responses :)
 

toddburme

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We were thinking of doing the same. Convertible with thrown candy seems like a quick way for lots of people to know you exist.
 

EmptyNest

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$50 to enter.... Good grief. They beg us to enter..it is free. Not sure it is worth that? And then you have to shell out for a ton of candy that no one will know where it came from :-(
Are you new to the community? Or do they know you personally already? I am not sure I would bother doing it.
Honestly, many here will tell you locals do nothing for our B & B's. That was true here for me. I gave up wasting my money. in 6 years only 3 locals sent any one to stay with us.
 

Penelope

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If it sounds like fun- do it. If not, don't. $50 or free. If it feels like something for your soul that would make you feel happy then go for it!! Think of it as an experience and don't let doubt inch it's way into your head. You said you have a family- how fun for the kids would that be??!!! They'd love that! And the smiles that you would be handing out- those are free.
When my husband and I have made mistakes that cost us money (not serious $$$$$, but some $), we always say, "We've wasted more money on lesser things before"
Go for it! What can it hurt!?
 
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My B&B truck w/logo is in the town lawn party parade every year. No fee but the candy cost me about $130.00. Boy Scouts usually follow the truck handing out the candy(must be wraped & non melting type) that they resupply from the truck bed. 4 adults are needed. I drive the truck and the rest follow helping the scouts. Its fun and a community project for the scouts.
 

Red Handed Jill

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We do it at every parade - either 1 or 2 a year, depending on who's doing the planning.
Entry fee? No way!
This probably sounds tacky, but all we (<cough> DH) do(es) is take our family car (it's an odd looking vehicle - like a station wagon someone inflated) and deck it out according to the season (complete with exterior lights at Christmas), and slap magnet signs on the side. We go get the cheapest hard candy we can and pile whoever is left inside the vehicle to pitch it. We've had my MIL in there, even my 3yo at one point, tossing candy from his car seat. He was really good at it!
And yes...if it's not fun, don't do it. It brings us goodwill (which you can't buy) but it doesn't put heads in beds. Not in our wee burg. Makes for good pics, though.
 

JBloggs

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I planned on doing this for our town christmas parade...but never have. Wearing either ROBES AND CURLERS WAVING COFFEE CUPS - even better with a make-shift frilly bed on the back - or dressed as innkeepers - in aprons etc, which is not as catchy as you cruise past. Robes being better in the cooler months, not sure where you are but being out there in the heat and sun is probably not fun all dolled up. (I see your B&B now)
Put some bold slogan on the truck to be seen, not just the B&B name. Website is good, let them all look you up, vs show up for a tour.
Candy is what everyone is required to toss off the floats now I believe, and it is just for the kids.
Flyers means walking along side the float. Better to stand in it and wave at people. my 2 cents.
welcome to the forum!

PS how many rooms do you have? I am confused on the website, just the one cottage room? $15 off per night for just coffee! Breakfast is complimentary!!!
 

Copperhead

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Go for it! What's $50 bucks and it most likely is going for something worthwhile anyway or for paying to block the streets & patrol which costs the town $$$. We have thought about doing this as well but never have. Have fun, enjoy, if nothing else you will have smiles from the kids getting the goodies.
 

seashanty

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Go for it! What's $50 bucks and it most likely is going for something worthwhile anyway or for paying to block the streets & patrol which costs the town $$$. We have thought about doing this as well but never have. Have fun, enjoy, if nothing else you will have smiles from the kids getting the goodies..
i would totally do it!
sorry there's an entry fee ... but in my home town, there is a fee like that as well for businesses to be in the christmas parade ... sorry i don't know where the money goes.
i'd make the flashiest, funnest float or really jazz up my car with balloons and signs and music or if you just walk, you do yourselves up to attract attention! love the idea of curlers and bathrobes and coffee mugs. and, if you can, you need a presence at the festival as well.
i DO think it's important that local folks know you exist. it is disheartening to be in a local store or other biz and hear someone ask where they can stay the night and being told someplace else and that there is no place to stay in the area. i was constantly having to visit the locals with muffins and rack cards to remind them ... and interrupt conversations in mid stream ... hey! i'm right here!

most of my guests were folks on vacation BUT there were a fair number who came to attend weddings or funerals or visit family who didn't have room for them or preferred they stay elsewhere.
took a page out of gillum house's book and started carting rack cards around with me ALL the time, EVERYWHERE, and handing them out.
 

gillumhouse

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Go for it! In today's world $50 will probablt not break you and hard candy is cheap. I must admit our parades are free. My town LOVES a parade. I swear you could put a ribbon on a dog and send it down Pike Street and people would line up to watch.
About 10 years ago I ran a Chistmas promo for the Lord's Pantry Food Bank. The merchants agreed to have "something" in their shops for 10% off to anyone with a Cast Your Bread for The Lord's Pantry certificate. The certificate cost $5. I think we made $300 for the Pantry with it. All this background to say, I had a fomer guest who bought a house in the area come with his pickup truck, put signs on the side that said Gillum House and I was in the back of the truck wearing a fishing hat & vest with a hunk of my homemade bread on the end of my fishing pole saying Cast your Bread For the Lord's Pantry. It was fun.
I had Vista Print signs made for the Council of Churches that I put on my car fo parades now. For the 4-year all-school reunion, it will be with Gillum House signs that my car will wear for the parade.
 

Alibi Ike

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Go for it! What's $50 bucks and it most likely is going for something worthwhile anyway or for paying to block the streets & patrol which costs the town $$$. We have thought about doing this as well but never have. Have fun, enjoy, if nothing else you will have smiles from the kids getting the goodies..
i would totally do it!
sorry there's an entry fee ... but in my home town, there is a fee like that as well for businesses to be in the christmas parade ... sorry i don't know where the money goes.
i'd make the flashiest, funnest float or really jazz up my car with balloons and signs and music or if you just walk, you do yourselves up to attract attention! love the idea of curlers and bathrobes and coffee mugs. and, if you can, you need a presence at the festival as well.
i DO think it's important that local folks know you exist. it is disheartening to be in a local store or other biz and hear someone ask where they can stay the night and being told someplace else and that there is no place to stay in the area. i was constantly having to visit the locals with muffins and rack cards to remind them ... and interrupt conversations in mid stream ... hey! i'm right here!

most of my guests were folks on vacation BUT there were a fair number who came to attend weddings or funerals or visit family who didn't have room for them or preferred they stay elsewhere.
took a page out of gillum house's book and started carting rack cards around with me ALL the time, EVERYWHERE, and handing them out.
.
We are awful at even having a biz card handy. (I don't carry a purse and the other half always seems to be 'just out' of biz cards.) So, the other night I had to run out of the restaurant to the tourist info (right outside the door) to grab a brochure out of the rack for someone at the table next to us. (Give me an in on a conversation and I'll talk to anyone.)
 

Penelope

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Go for it! In today's world $50 will probablt not break you and hard candy is cheap. I must admit our parades are free. My town LOVES a parade. I swear you could put a ribbon on a dog and send it down Pike Street and people would line up to watch.
About 10 years ago I ran a Chistmas promo for the Lord's Pantry Food Bank. The merchants agreed to have "something" in their shops for 10% off to anyone with a Cast Your Bread for The Lord's Pantry certificate. The certificate cost $5. I think we made $300 for the Pantry with it. All this background to say, I had a fomer guest who bought a house in the area come with his pickup truck, put signs on the side that said Gillum House and I was in the back of the truck wearing a fishing hat & vest with a hunk of my homemade bread on the end of my fishing pole saying Cast your Bread For the Lord's Pantry. It was fun.
I had Vista Print signs made for the Council of Churches that I put on my car fo parades now. For the 4-year all-school reunion, it will be with Gillum House signs that my car will wear for the parade..
gillumhouse said:
My town LOVES a parade. I swear you could put a ribbon on a dog and send it down Pike Street and people would line up to watch.
Love this!!!

 

snow4jc

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Go for it! What's $50 bucks and it most likely is going for something worthwhile anyway or for paying to block the streets & patrol which costs the town $$$. We have thought about doing this as well but never have. Have fun, enjoy, if nothing else you will have smiles from the kids getting the goodies..
i would totally do it!
sorry there's an entry fee ... but in my home town, there is a fee like that as well for businesses to be in the christmas parade ... sorry i don't know where the money goes.
i'd make the flashiest, funnest float or really jazz up my car with balloons and signs and music or if you just walk, you do yourselves up to attract attention! love the idea of curlers and bathrobes and coffee mugs. and, if you can, you need a presence at the festival as well.
i DO think it's important that local folks know you exist. it is disheartening to be in a local store or other biz and hear someone ask where they can stay the night and being told someplace else and that there is no place to stay in the area. i was constantly having to visit the locals with muffins and rack cards to remind them ... and interrupt conversations in mid stream ... hey! i'm right here!

most of my guests were folks on vacation BUT there were a fair number who came to attend weddings or funerals or visit family who didn't have room for them or preferred they stay elsewhere.
took a page out of gillum house's book and started carting rack cards around with me ALL the time, EVERYWHERE, and handing them out.
.
I LOVE that idea!! I don't know about our teen sons who are going to be helping us !! LOL Guess we'll have to put on our thinking caps for decorating. Thanks for your ideas & enthusiasm!! ;-)
Oh I forgot! I did order a FREE banner from Vistaprint. Had to pay extra for "speedy delivery" but it got here today. Very nice banner... heavy duty and looks wonderful!

seashanty said:
i'd make the flashiest, funnest float or really jazz up my car with balloons and signs and music or if you just walk, you do yourselves up to attract attention! love the idea of curlers and bathrobes and coffee mugs. and, if you can, you need a presence at the festival as well.
 

snow4jc

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Go for it! In today's world $50 will probablt not break you and hard candy is cheap. I must admit our parades are free. My town LOVES a parade. I swear you could put a ribbon on a dog and send it down Pike Street and people would line up to watch.
About 10 years ago I ran a Chistmas promo for the Lord's Pantry Food Bank. The merchants agreed to have "something" in their shops for 10% off to anyone with a Cast Your Bread for The Lord's Pantry certificate. The certificate cost $5. I think we made $300 for the Pantry with it. All this background to say, I had a fomer guest who bought a house in the area come with his pickup truck, put signs on the side that said Gillum House and I was in the back of the truck wearing a fishing hat & vest with a hunk of my homemade bread on the end of my fishing pole saying Cast your Bread For the Lord's Pantry. It was fun.
I had Vista Print signs made for the Council of Churches that I put on my car fo parades now. For the 4-year all-school reunion, it will be with Gillum House signs that my car will wear for the parade..
What great ideas you have ;-) I really love the fishing pole and the bread! LOL I hope we get as much response as you did.
gillumhouse said:
Go for it! In today's world $50 will probablt not break you and hard candy is cheap. I must admit our parades are free. My town LOVES a parade. I swear you could put a ribbon on a dog and send it down Pike Street and people would line up to watch.
I was in the back of the truck wearing a fishing hat & vest with a hunk of my homemade bread on the end of my fishing pole saying Cast your Bread For the Lord's Pantry. It was fun.
 

snow4jc

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Go for it! What's $50 bucks and it most likely is going for something worthwhile anyway or for paying to block the streets & patrol which costs the town $$$. We have thought about doing this as well but never have. Have fun, enjoy, if nothing else you will have smiles from the kids getting the goodies..
copperhead said:
Go for it! What's $50 bucks and it most likely is going for something worthwhile anyway or for paying to block the streets & patrol which costs the town $$$. We have thought about doing this as well but never have. Have fun, enjoy, if nothing else you will have smiles from the kids getting the goodies.
Yes! That's what I thought, too :)
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2 <<------ TOTALLY agree!
 

snow4jc

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What a fun forum ~ I'm glad I finally had some time to follow through with asking my question!! I'm really glad to have stepped out & taken the first step
I'll be checking out the other topics soon.
I am looking forward to this... I think it will be fun and a great way to extend good will and support the community. We are fairly well known in the community, but the BnB is not. We are not allowed to throw candy... it is in the rules. Everything has to be handed out
so we don't get any little kids hurt on the roadway. At least they still let people hand it out!
So, tomorrow I'm off to find some cheap candy! I'll let you know how it goes
 

snow4jc

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I planned on doing this for our town christmas parade...but never have. Wearing either ROBES AND CURLERS WAVING COFFEE CUPS - even better with a make-shift frilly bed on the back - or dressed as innkeepers - in aprons etc, which is not as catchy as you cruise past. Robes being better in the cooler months, not sure where you are but being out there in the heat and sun is probably not fun all dolled up. (I see your B&B now)
Put some bold slogan on the truck to be seen, not just the B&B name. Website is good, let them all look you up, vs show up for a tour.
Candy is what everyone is required to toss off the floats now I believe, and it is just for the kids.
Flyers means walking along side the float. Better to stand in it and wave at people. my 2 cents.
welcome to the forum!

PS how many rooms do you have? I am confused on the website, just the one cottage room? $15 off per night for just coffee! Breakfast is complimentary!!!.
Thank you for your 2 cents :) I appreciate your suggestions and questions.
Joey Bloggs wrote:
<PS how many rooms do you have? I am confused on the website, just the one cottage room? $15 off per night for just coffee! Breakfast is complimentary!!!>
We only have the cottage, so that is considered one "room" though it is a fully functional small home ;-) Also about the breakfast.... when I was researching & searching I found that to be quite common so we went with the discount for "coffee" only. During this past month, we've begun to see that it isn't consistent with our complimentary breakfast. I guess we were trying to be as accomodating as we could (in helping to reduce cost to guest). I'll be adding this subject to the list to talk to my husband :)
Pam
 

Joey Camb

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whatever you do if you have to hand out candy make sure it has email or web site or both on it. Mt friend charlotte has hired a pr person for her cooker school and gave me a bag of candy and I pointed out no where on this bag is a mention of the cookery school, blog, email or web site or even address of the place. I would kick that woman up the bum.
 

seashanty

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whatever you do if you have to hand out candy make sure it has email or web site or both on it. Mt friend charlotte has hired a pr person for her cooker school and gave me a bag of candy and I pointed out no where on this bag is a mention of the cookery school, blog, email or web site or even address of the place. I would kick that woman up the bum..
camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk said:
whatever you do if you have to hand out candy make sure it has email or web site or both on it.
absolutely label your stuff.
since it's last minute and to minimize expense, i'd get some brown paper lunch bags and print up labels at home to stick on them. i'm thinking of mailing labels ... the white ones ... a bit bigger than standard or whatever you have. then put the candy in the bags. more work but if the point is to get your name out there ... this ought to do it. i've seen the candies that come with personalized labels on them but that is expensive ... you know the kind ... at weddings and things ... so cute and fun
 

gillumhouse

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What a fun forum ~ I'm glad I finally had some time to follow through with asking my question!! I'm really glad to have stepped out & taken the first step
I'll be checking out the other topics soon.
I am looking forward to this... I think it will be fun and a great way to extend good will and support the community. We are fairly well known in the community, but the BnB is not. We are not allowed to throw candy... it is in the rules. Everything has to be handed out
so we don't get any little kids hurt on the roadway. At least they still let people hand it out!
So, tomorrow I'm off to find some cheap candy! I'll let you know how it goes
.
Do to the office supply store and get a package of those 80 tp a page labels or the wide but thin labels (cannot remember what size but I hope I am explaining well enough for you to get it) and print your B & B name and web site on the. THEN everyone in the family sit down and start labeling. If you get lollipops, (wide skinny labels) and fold the label in half around the stick so it is sticky to sticky (take one you could have name on one side and web site on the other) or woth the 80-up labels small print will do 2 lines and stick the label in the candy. Work, yes but cheap if that is an evening family activity.
 
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