Parade Party

Birthday Parade -5yr- Float Entry Form




Jennifer in Flower Mound, TX USA


July 2005


Honorable Mention

My daughter was ecstatic when she learned to ride her bike with out training wheels, so almost a year before her birthday she announced that she would be having a Birthday Parade to celebrate her turning 5. That gave me time to prepare!

Invitations: Since we were having the party at home, I allowed her to invite her entire class along with other friends from church, t-ball and soccer. I had to go simple just for the shear cost efficient method. I bought colored cardstock and designed a cute invitation on the computer.

Guests were invited to bring the entire family along with their favorite riding toy for the birthday parade, and I would furnish the decorations for the riding toys. (If you decide to have this party, don't forget to encourage the kids to bring their helmets. I forgot!:) Once about the 50th child had RSVP'd, I began getting alittle nervous that I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Last minute, I took blank name tag labels and ran them through the printer to say Riley's Birthday Parade Float Entry Name and left a blank to write in the names. This turned out to be VITAL!

We set up a large tent in the front yard with tables under it that had everything they needed to make pennants. I bought craft foam at the craft store and a couple of the tubs of stick on designs and letters. The kids also decorated plastic visors to wear for the parade. These were party favors.

I also left permanent markers out on the table. Ahead of time, I hot glued the dowel rods to the pennants to save time. I also bought a bag of those pull through ties ($1 at the dollar store) to attach the pennants to the bikes. There were also buckets of streamers and balloons for the kids to attach to their bikes. 

As soon as the kids arrived, they took their Float Entry Form, AKA nametag, and put it on. Then they began decorating. As the kids finished decorating some rode around and others bounced in the bounce house. The kids loved the popcorn popper I borrowed from a friend. There were also bowls of pretzels and goldfish. I used cups instead of plates for the snacks. 

Once the riding toys were decorated, the parade was ready. It was simple, we just went around the block - over and over and over! It was hilarious. Truly. In hindsight, I would have had everyone park further away so the entire street would have been clear. I had asked the local fire department to lead the parade, but they had a call so they were not able. No one expected them, so no one was disappointed. 

After the parade, everyone joined us for cake and a pinata.  I bought the cake at Sam's Wholesale Club because I was buying for so many. I also had the kids fill a big tub with all of the candy so it could be divided out equally. I used small brown bags for the pinata goodies and also added a coloring sheet and ice cream coupon from Chickfila. They seemed to like that. As they departed, they were donned in their visor, riding off on their decorated riding toy with popcorn and pinata goodies in hand.

 I laughed as I counted the number of float entry stickers that I had used - over 80 entries. My husband and I laughed as we turned the air off the bounce house. It was quite a day. I do believe it was everything she wanted and more - certainly more than I expected!  Honestly, it was no more expensive than any other party. We made cutbacks on serving a full meal and having it at our house.

The great thing about it was that we were able to meet and get to know so many of her friends and their parents that we only see at drop off and pick up, across the field, in the bleachers. 

The thank you notes were simple: I reprinted the group picture from the start of the parade with Riley right in front and mounted it on the rest of the cardstock. Riley wrote on the back. I had run 2 sets of labels for the invites and used the second set for the thank you notes.  It was perfect.

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