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Behind the Scenes - 2021 FOP Halloween Parade

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

Boy, the past weeks have been a whirlwind and we have been excited for all of it! The most exciting thing we just completed, of course, was participating in the Findlay FOP Halloween Parade! It was thrilling, had a huge attendance with exhilarating energy, and overall a great night (weather included) for a parade.


To get to the point of step-off, it took a lot of work. This is the insider's viewpoint of how we got there.


Decision to Participate

Our team had a meeting to go over ways to connect with our community. It was at this point we discussed participating in the Halloween parade and knew it was a perfect opportunity to show off our fun and creative side. The idea was born.


Growing Into A Concept

We discussed a theme for a float that would showcase what AOM does and the Halloween season. Partying, music, and characters. The dead was an obvious choice for us and making them rise from their graves due to energy of partying. "Waking the Dead Partying" was a fitting theme giving us the float base- a cemetery.


Creating and Moving the Float

The interesting part was bringing the idea to the real world. We organized our budget around 1 focal point, creating an animated skeleton band and dancers. The remaining of the cemetery needed to be accents; not getting in the line of sight to the skeletons but giving shape and dimension. Our projector was hidden by the mausoleum and we had different heights, textures, and details with a fresh gravestone, normal tombstone, leaves, caution tape, and a gravedigger. The special touch, that the crowd enjoyed, was our volunteers playing as the living dead and a mourner passing out fortune cookies.



Challenges & Final Thoughts


With help and support, we were able to quickly resolve a few top issues: the trailer, a driver, electricity, and walkers to pass out candy.


The minor issues:

  • Placement of lights and detracting attention (pulled bulbs to blacken unwanted areas)

  • Placement of decorations that didn't interfere with projecting skeletons (complete trial and error of placement while watching the projection screen)

  • Watt usage in power inverter to truck (pulling bulbs, saved watts; used wi-fi speaker for music)

  • Nixing fog for cemetery floor (adjusted by using leaves for realism)

  • Creating a playlist that matched skeleton band (weeks of research and playing with skeleton projection playing)

  • Time Management for Make-up (communicated with volunteers where to meet so Alex could do make-up during staging and final touches)

Things to Improve:

We needed more hand-outs! We highly underestimated how many attendees would be there.


Conclusion

All had an amazing time! The night was full of excitement and laughter. We had hot chocolate and donuts for our volunteers to have while getting in make-up, finalizing float decorations, judging float, and waiting for step-off. The communication we received was looking forward to participating in next year's parade.