- Get parade bags. I’m talking about plastic bags, similar to what you might hang your door-to-door literature in, but bigger. Pass them out up and down the parade route 20 minutes before it starts to children who’ll put candy in them. Make sure your brochure is in it. These bags are awesome. Not cheap, but people WILL remember your name because it will be EVERYWHERE. And trust me, your opponent will notice…ah, the stories I could tell…
- Shake hands. Don’t ride on a float. Don’t stroll down the middle of the parade route and wave. Jog from one side to the other and shake hands with the voters. Talk to them. You won’t have time for a real conversation, but say something like “thanks for coming out” or the equivalent.
- Play deaf to negative comments. There will probably be some A-holes in the parade. Keep smiling and completely ignore them. Don’t let anything shake your look of pure enjoyment. They hate that. This also works when reporters ambush you. Those guys really hate it.
- Have a huge group of supporters. This is especially important in smaller races, and in smaller towns where a big, loud group really stands out. It doesn’t take many people to look ‘big,’ but I recommend at least 20. If you have to use your volunteers’ time judiciously, try to save them for the most important parade. It’s different for every town, but you should very well know exactly which parades those are in your district.
- Ask the pros. Incumbent elected officials you know and your local republican club leaders will be very familiar with the local parade etiquette and what works and what doesn’t.
- Bring the family. Parades are tons of fun! The kids will love it, and the voters will really love seeing you with your family. It makes you relatable.