Participating in a local parade is an excellent way to get active, promote something you believe in and bond with your community. However, it also comes with its set of challenges, from exposing yourself to hot weather to navigating busy streets. The following tips can help you minimize these problems and have a great time, regardless of your familiarity with parades.

1. Inform Yourself

The best way to anticipate and act against any possible issues is by gathering as much information as you can before the event. Talk to the coordinator and other participants about factors such as the meeting place, the distance, the route and much more. Ensure that activities such as waving specific signs and handing out parade candy or gifts meet any established guidelines. Most importantly, learn about emergency procedures such as alternative routes and first aid kit locations.

2. Wear Comfortable Clothing

It is critical to dress appropriately since you will be spending a significant amount of time outside. During high temperatures, you will need light-colored clothes that are loose and lightweight enough to allow comfortable movement. If you must wear a heavy and bulky costume, see if you can bring a water bottle along to avoid dehydration. During colder weather, wear enough layers to keep warm without restricting your body.

3. Mind Your Surroundings

Parades can create hectic environments full of crowds, loud music, flashy objects and several other factors. Paying close attention to your surroundings can ensure the safety of the team and your overall enjoyment. If you get too caught up interacting with people or performing for the parade, you could get dangerously close to vehicles or floats, fall behind the group, miss any communication from your fellow walkers or bump into any hazard in your path.

4. Maintain Your Pace

Keeping up with the other participants and the vehicle can be challenging. Parades sometimes speed up or slow down in a whim, which can mess with your pace. Try to follow the rhythm of the event as much as possible and adapt to any changes as they happen. At the same time, avoid forcing yourself too much, as you can become exhausted before the finish line. You can also practice walking the route before the event so you can establish the ideal pace.

Being part of a parade can help bring awareness to your organization or cause while having fun doing so. Avoid getting lost, injuries and other issues by preparing before the big day.