We finished the float on time, and it held together in the rain that we had the ENTIRE day of the parade as well. Photos were put together into a PDF by a colleague and she gave me permission to have it up here.
The theme for the parade was "On the Road to the Swamp." We designed a float to be a road, complete with grass margins, lines and street signs, that lead to a swamp, where our Dean of Libraries was cooking up a cauldron of Kentucky Fried Wildcat. Behind her is a giant cookbook on a stump. Surrounding her were cooking paraphernalia, swamp critters and natural materials.
The umbrella and visqueen covered book pages were concessions to the rain that was expected. Thank goodness it was down to a drizzle for most of the actual parade. The hard rain came down during the hours of the morning when we were transporting and setting up the float. But using a good amount of the visqueen we were able to put the float together in the rain without everything turning totally into mush. A lot of our props were made of paper mache and covered in washable tempera paint, so it was pretty ruined by the end of the parade. But it lasted through the event, which was all we really needed.
The driving even went well. I didn't run into anything and the dean didn't fall off the float, even though she was insistent on standing the whole way. (Even after my strict lecture on safety and staying seated.) We had a giant stuffed gator in the passenger seat of the truck, but he was probably pretty hard to see. I know he made seeing really hard for me! I ended up moving him down out of the way as soon as the parade was through so that I could see.
All in all, it was a huge amount of work, but I think the crowds really liked it, and the libraries could really be proud of our accomplishment. I hope the libraries do it again next year. (I don't want to be in charge though!!)
Click to see photos on the PDF here.