Homecoming Float Ideas

parade float
Make it an event to remember!

Boost school spirit with these homecoming ideas for floats. No matter how much planning and hard work it might take, the end result is sure to be a success if you choose a design that's fun to create.

The Float Takes Center Stage

Think of all the parades you've attended and seen on television. In addition to the enormous gathering of enthusiastic people, the cheers of excitement and the general sense of camaraderie, the events also have something else in common: a collection of impressive floats.

Homecoming parade floats are colorful, exuberant spectacles put together, virtually from scratch, by student teams. From the "birth" of the float (the inception of the idea and its various elements) to the float's actual "life" (the displaying in front of the entire school community), the team is involved with every moment of the float's existence.

In order to make all parade floats hugely successful and as creative as possible, schools often encourage a "best float" prize to be awarded to the most innovative design. Other similar awards are often given, including "most creative," "most spirited" and "most memorable." Awards are also sometimes given out for best use of original or unique products, such as recyclable materials, food and other unexpected ingredients.

The floats will typically all center on one specific theme, usually determined by a homecoming committee. Themes are usually playful and celebratory: They are chosen specifically because they elicit energy and excitement from the community, bring the entire group closer together and are generally well-suited to all students. A wide variety of popular themes exist, including:

  • Decades (Flower Power '60s, Groovy '70s, Radical '80s, Grungy '90s)
  • Hollywood
  • Mardi Gras
  • Postcard Destinations (Balmy Hawaii, Icy North Pole, Australian Outback, Romantic Paris)
  • School Sports Teams
  • Support the Troops

No matter what the chosen theme is, each float is designed to show off in spectacular fashion. Hollywood-themed floats may feature red carpets, plenty of lights and cameras, "movie stars" decked out in only the finest suits and gowns, large Academy Award figurines and other similar Tinseltown features. Likewise, a float with a "Proud to be an American" theme may feature the nation's flags, stars, eagles and, of course, an all red, white and blue color scheme.

Homecoming Parade Float Ideas

The most talked about homecoming floats are those that elicit gasps from the crowd, turn heads and succeed in representing the chosen theme as closely as possible. Often, the most memorable floats are the ones that incorporate unique elements, such as enormous football helmets bearing the school's logo or miniature golf courses set atop a vast green. All themes have the potential to inspire plenty of creative homecoming float ideas! Consider some of these for your event.

School Spirit

Homecoming is nothing without a hearty helping of enthusiasm and school spirit. Infuse some life into your float by using your school's colors generously and creatively.

  • Purchase festooning in your school's colors and outline the entire float with it, alternating colors one by one to create a striped, rainbow effect.
  • What's your slogan? Build your float's design not only around the school's selected theme, but also around a phrase that the committee designates. For example, if your school's theme is centered on Mardi Gras, your phrase might be "Jazz Up a Big Win!" Your float could follow suit, featuring members of the football team playing trumpets as jazz music emanates from a hidden stereo system.

Patriotic Float

Let freedom ring - and let the crowd cheer as your festive float slowly passes by. A patriotic float is obviously a simple one to decorate, but with a few unique touches, it can be transformed into something unexpected.

  • Create a mural of a lighted skyline with fireworks exploding above. Use a string of small lights to create a glowing effect, or purchase a custom-made mural set up with lights.
  • Just like no party is complete without people, no float is truly complete unless people do their part to make it the best it can be. Have a couple of your team members dress up as Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty.

Lovely Luau

Make it a tropical theme, but dress it up with your school's colors instead. With all of the sunny props available at your disposal, you should have no problem coming up with something fun for the entire school!

  • Lay some grass mats down and place a few chaise lounges over them. Dress members of the football team and the school mascot in casual beachwear and have them lie back and enjoy the ride!
  • Get the crowd involved - toss a few leis their way!
Homecoming Float Ideas