Parades happen in every big city and many small towns. They are fun, relaxing and most people are there because they really want to be. Parades are a wonderful marketing tool if you know what to do! I recommend being a part of your local town parades. For most local home towns, it only takes a convertible and some decorations. The biggest parade in my home town is the Rose Parade because I grew up in Pasadena. There are not too many locals in that parade, but the little know Doo-Dah Parade is FULL of locals and locals watching it. When people like a particular float or group, they throw soft tortillas at them. Most local parades are covered by the local cable company.
As you pass by the announcers will give your information on television. If you are in the parade, you can increase your face-name recognition. If you judge the parade, you name and business will be announced to the crowd. Parades allow you to give out promotional items to the crowd. Parades also allow you to show off contest winners. If your business held a contest, get a convertible and the contest winners and get into the parade! Most parades are very low cost or free to participate in.
I love a parade because it can also get you interviews by local television, magazine and radio stations. Find out what is going on in your town. You usually have to sign up about 2 months in advance but if you just heard about something at the last minute, try and get in. I have seen people get into parades the morning of the sign up. But early sign up means, everyone will have your name and number. Publicity means being creative! Parades allow you to promote your business or website and support the community at the same time.