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  • Christmas Parade Float

    This year, our pack is participating in the local Christmas Parade. We are to design a float to represent our pack. This year, we decided to go with a camp out theme (tent, small trees, boys sitting around a fire, etc.)

    The fire is what is stumping us. I've looked around online, found numerous tutorials for 'fake fires' for plays, parades, etc. Most seem so...small (toliet paper rolls for logs, cellphane sheets for fire, etc.) I wanted to ask if anyone here has had any experience in making one and what worked for you? If you haven't made one yet, what do you think would be a good method to be seen on a float? We have access to a generator, lights, a fan, etc. Just a matter of making it realistic looking while safe and big enough to be seen

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Do you want it to look like flames or hot coals?

    Make sure you follow G2SS for the float and the vehicle pulling it.

    Comment


    • #3
      On our Floats (big ol' flatbeds) we would put up a tent, but actually never thought of a fire. Think about: you will be rolling by, not stoping, a couple of feet higher than the people standing at the side of the road - they wouldnt be ablt to see much of anything. A tent is big. Flags on display. If you have a really big truck and too much space, but a pinewood derby track on it.

      My idea: take a dutch oven, place it on something to elevate it a little, put a stone circle around it and have the kids color some crunched paper in red n yellow as flames, maybe pulled apart cotton balls for flames? But people wont really see much of it.


      Its mostly about getting the kids on the trailer to smile and wave, and the adults to keep on repeating "do not hang your arms or legs outside of the vehicle while moving..."

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      • #4
        @ Packsaddle, flames is what I've been told so far. This is my 2nd year participating (last year all I did was make gift decorations & walk.) Our pack has participated in this particular parade for the past 10+ years but I'll definitely check on that to make sure we're doing things correctly. Thanks!

        @ Berliner, that is a good point. Last year, since I walked (saying pretty much what you said + chants, oh the chants), I didn't get to view it from the viewers' perspective. We actually do stop a few times (the entire line does.) But I understand what you mean on the height part. I've never participated in a pinewood derby either so not sure what we have at our disposal but I'll bring that up as well.

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        • dedkad
          dedkad commented
          Editing a comment
          I've seen fake campfire flames on other floats and when done right, they are obvious from the viewer's perspective. Don't know how they did it, just saying it's possible.

      • #5
        We do some parades...yes go big, flashy, and tacky.

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        • #6
          Is this a day time parade? If so it would probably be more visible to vividly paint flames on cardboard and inset in a glued together large teepee campfire. Use some charred sticks.

          I have done the fan, yellow lights (with dimmer), cloth streamers, red glass marbles (coals) but that worked best in a dark room.

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          • #7
            Our Pack usually did the Veterans' Day Parade. Walked at the head of the line with our banner, and passed out candy provided by the VA. Enterprising little Cub Scouts started throwing the candy to kids sitting on the curb. Then they started throwing candy AT the homeless people panhandling the event...

            Comment


            • dedkad
              dedkad commented
              Editing a comment
              Our City's holiday parade doesn't allow any entrants to pass out candy or trinkets. Probably for this exact reason.

            • packsaddle
              packsaddle commented
              Editing a comment
              Our town also prohibits handouts but it's because a few years ago, a little girl was nearly fatally crushed by one of the floats as she tried to get handouts. I was standing right across from it with my daughter and her friend. I saw it happen and was too far away to do anything to stop it and it was sickening...a slow-motion forward by the trailer, little girl slips and falls under the tire, the entire weight of it rolls slowly up her body, crushing her so completely that she didn't even make a sound, and I'm pulling the kids around so they don't watch her skull crushed. But the driver finally realized the crowd was screaming at HIM so he stopped...right on top of her...and then slowly backed off of her body. It was horrendous. Her mother, on the side of the street, was apoplectic. My daughter asked me if she had just seen a child get killed. I told her I hoped not.

              Fortunately, the little girl was not dead and after a few weeks in the hospital made a full recovery. But the scene is a constant source of torment in my mind...what if he had moved forward another 4 inches...just awful.

          • #8
            Sometimes you can get single color strings of mini lights. You could use red. yellow, and orange ones to highlight a cardboard or plywood prop.

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            • #9
              I would stick with a log cabin fire fan and streamers, colored Mylar or similar material. Secure the logs with hot glue gun or framing nailer if they are thin enough. Lights will be hard to see. Tripod over the fire would be a good visual also but don't actually hang a Dutch oven on a moving vehicle, make a cardboard pot or a beat up lightweight pot. The problem is if the cubs are sitting around it, the audience will not see it well. Fishing poles might be a good visual as well.

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              • #10
                I have seen some good fake "log cabin" fires with red and yellow cellophane, a light, and a fan pointing up to make the flames wiggle about. Maybe some Dry Ice?

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                • #11
                  Just make a low fire ring from flat stones (or wood painted to look like stones if you really need to nail everything down). Pile it high with red/yellow/orange/black wrapped candy that the boys can toss to the crowd. Keep a backup box of candy in the tent.

                  Ask your council HQ if they might have any swag to give away to the crowd.

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                  • #12
                    Thank y'all for the wonderful ideas The parade starts in the day time and will be finishing right as it gets dark. I'm gonna summarize these ideas now and send them in. Thanks again!

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by JoeBob View Post
                      Our Pack usually did the Veterans' Day Parade. Walked at the head of the line with our banner, and passed out candy provided by the VA. Enterprising little Cub Scouts started throwing the candy to kids sitting on the curb. Then they started throwing candy AT the homeless people panhandling the event...
                      Oh my goodness! In our county, no one is allowed to throw candy in any of the parades we have. I know last year we had healthy snacks and flyers we handed out each time the parade stopped. I wonder if something like this is why we're not allowed to do that now (I'm not exactly sure when it changed, when I was a kid they still threw candy out.)

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                      • King Ding Dong
                        King Ding Dong commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Let Faux News know about it. They can add it to their War on Christmas arsenal.

                      • Faith
                        Faith commented
                        Editing a comment
                        haha, yeah, crazy times. I was told we will hand out candy canes (and they are gonna see if council has anything for us to distribute), so that kinda counts!

                    • #14
                      We used to throw beads and now it is candy! Flyers? Bahh.

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                      • #15
                        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...22%20Height%20

                        Strips of fabric to look like flames, mounted above a fan..... sometimes with lights, although for your purpose I would think red and orange fabric would do.

                        I've been toying with the idea of buying this or similar for use in pack meetings occasionally. Just wish it was bigger.

                        For yours, do you have a way to power a big box fan?

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