Our team at Stony Plain Dental Centre had the opportunity to take part in the Farmers Day Parade on June second. The Marketing Coordinator and Marketing Intern carefully planned and prepared the float, with more of the team coming together to build the float and participate in the parade
Coming up with Mt. Brushmore took a lot more thought than a quick Google search. The only ideas we were able to find while looking at previous dental floats was a “Tooth Ferry” themed float. Although the Tooth Ferry is a fun idea, we wanted to build something that had not been done before. With the help of a graphic found on Pinterest, the Mt. Brushmore parade float was chosen.
Before started building our float, we had some planning to do.
How big do we want our float?
What building materials will we use?
What supplies will we need and how much of everything?
How do we make sure it stays on the trailer?
Who can help build it?
How will we use the building time effectively and get it made?
What kind of weather is expected?
How can we ensure the audience understands the float?
After answering the questions and gathering the materials, it was time to build our float. During a staff meeting, the team came together to build Mt. Brushmore. We were able to build a tube of toothpaste, floss, a tooth, and a toothbrush with mountains on either side using cardboard. Splitting into smaller groups, each group focused on building one element of the float. Group one took on the toothpaste, group two had the floss, group three had the tooth, and group four had the toothbrush and the mountains. The team thought this would be a good size so everyone who came out to enjoy the parade, could see the float well.
After the basics were built, it was time to get crafty. The groups used newspaper to paper mache texture to the mountains and folded poster paper to add a lid to the toothpaste.
Painting the float was the next step after the paper mache dried. We used a shade of grey spray paint to add to the mountain range look as well as white acrylic paint to add bristles to the toothbrush. While we were building, we had to make sure both sides of the float were decorated so parade viewers could see the float no matter what side of the road they were on. Many cardboard boxes, two buckets of paper mache, three rolls of duct tape, and eight cans of spray paint later, we had our six-foot-five float standing tall.
After Mt. Brushmore was built and decorated, we had to attach it to the trailer. This was a more difficult part of the process. The weather network was telling us to expect wind and rain so we had to make sure the float was secure enough to stay standing. We used three different techniques to keep our newly built float on the trailer. We used duct tape on the base, as well as a staple gun to secure the base to the trailer. We then tied string to the trailer and around the float so the structure would stay in place. Once we successfully secured the float to the trailer, we added our company banners on either side of the truck and balloons with our company name and logo all around the trailer. To ensure the theme of our float was apparent to people watching the parade, we added a sign on either side of the float that said Mt. Brushmore and gave our stickers that had an image of the float and the name.
We decided to hand out stickers for a few reasons. We thought it would be contradicting to have a dentist handing out candy filled with sugar while trying to promote oral health. We have handed out sugar-free candy at past events, which still offended some attendees. Another factor was kids love stickers and they were very excited to get them. Lastly, people who received stickers would have something to remember Mt. Brushmore and the clinic by when the parade was over. The stickers included an image of Mt. Brushmore, Stony Plain Dental Centre logo, phone number, and email.
We also handed out invitations to our Second Annual Community BBQ that took place the following weekend. These were in the form of postcards and were given to adults during the parade.
The morning of the parade, Mt. Brushmore was driven out to the registries while the staff went to the clinic and put on their Stony Plain Dental Centre shirts. Once the staff was ready, we meet at Mt. Brushmore ready for the parade to start. All of the staff that devoted their time to volunteer at the parade took stickers and postcards to hand out to everyone who came to watch the parade. We were the second float in the parade, following the Terry Fox Foundation Foundation float, which we had the opportunity to sponsor. The parade moved quickly and staff got a little left behind making sure everyone got a sticker and a postcard. Even though there was a little more jogging than we anticipated, we all had a great time in the sun surrounded by friends and family. Mt. Brushmore was a success thanks to our dental team, and the float didn’t get blown off the trailer until we arrived back at the clinic when the parade was over. Everyone had a great time participating in this event and the Stony Plain Dental Centre team plans to participate in the parade next year.