6 Steps To Create:

The Perfect Float


The first step to creating the perfect float is to assemble a strong team of people who can dedicate the skills and time required to design & construct your entry.

Over the years, entrants have consisted of local community groups, organisations, businesses, neighbours and even groups of friends so there is NO excuse not to enter a float.


All floats, no matter the size require a theme with almost anything being acceptable.


When meeting to decide a theme, the committee highly reccomends choosing an easily recognisable & eye catching theme with a catchy soundtrack as this will not only draw attention to your entry but also influence the judge's final decisions.


In past processions, entrants have designed floats based on, historical events, fiction, TV programmes & films, just to name a few.


At this stage of the process, it is also a good idea to decide on any costumes, props & scenery that you may require for your float.


PLEASE NOTE: Where possible, please try and choose an appropriate theme that avoids the potential of causing offence or references current affairs that could cause controversy.


Most of the companies that supply vehicles for the procession are covered by their own Public Liability / Indemnity Insurance, but all float entries are required to obtain their own insurance to be allowed to participate in the procession.


For most floats, Personal Liability Insurance should be sufficient to cover the people from your group taking part in the procession but you can always opt for a policy offering greater coverage.


On average, insurance costs around £50 and can be sourced by typing 'Procession or Carnival Insurance' into your search engine of choice.


Whilst your insurance will cover the majority of potential incidents, your best insurance is to conduct a full and thorough risk assessment prior to the event to identify the risks you face and give you time to find fixes to mitigate and prevent incidents & accidents from occuring.


Due to the nature of the event, the highest risks to participants are likely to be vehicle related and so therefore, it is important to ensure that you have a substantial barrier to stop people falling from your float and appropriate ladders for embarking /disembarking your vehicle.


PLEASE NOTE: Embarking / disembarking your vehicle MUST only be done when the vehicle has come to a complete STOP.


Once you have established a strong team, it is time to decide what form your final float will take. At this stage, it is a good idea to consider the size and type of vehicle you may require.


Over recent years, increasingly more entrants have opted for either a completely walking float or a hybrid where they opt for a smaller vehicle with people also walking the route.


Almost any vehicle is acceptable to enter the procession, with a number of local businesses offering the temporary loan of a vehicle and/or trailer for a short period of time before & after the procession.


 PLEASE NOTE: Most suppliers usually require confirmation early in the process due to demand and operational requirements.


When selecting your materials for your float, it is important to consider the durability of your design as the length of the procession & the British Weather will seriously test the durability of your float. In recent years, entrants have utilised PVC banners & 8mm thick plywood boards to act as side skirts as both materials have proven their durability.


Although the procesison is held on closed roads, there is still a requirement to ensure that the driver of the vehicle has full visability at all times & that where possible non of the moving components on a vehicle or trailer are obstructed or restricted by decorations.


Despite these restrictions, banners on the front and back of a vehicle are permitted as long as the driver still maintains full visability.


Most of the companies who loan vehicles & trailers for the procession either own or lease their vehicles and trailers and often therefore have quite strict rules as to how things are attached to them.


Prior to decorating your lorry, please speak to either your vehicle provider or driver  as they will happily advise what is and isn't acceptable as it can cause issues for them further down the line.


On a final note, where possible try and source recycled materials for your float such as pallets, wooden boards and fabrics as this will not only save you money but also help the environment.


As a committee, we encourage all floats to be as vibrant and colourful as possible but would like to request that where possible, all balloons and plastic used on your float is either biodegradable or is recycled after use as the environment can and does suffer as a result of discarded plastic & balloons.


On The Day

Please bear in mind that the Weather in Ripon can be very unpredictable at times so it is advisable to design your float to withstand anything from blazing hot sunshine through to gale force winds and torrential rain. One good method is the use of cheap ponchos that you can put on over your costumes as they can be quickly be put on and removed if the weather is changeable.


Taking into account the build time and the procession itself, the day can become quite drawn out and you may find it quite tiring to be on your feet all day, therefore, the committee would strongly advise putting somewhere for everyone to sit and rest on your float. 


From past experience, most participants would advise against using plastic garden furniture as due to the movement of the vehicles and nature of the route, they often snap which can cause injury due to sharp edges etc.


The best form of seating can be anything from sturdy metal based chairs , hay bales & even camping stools as all can safely flex with the movement of the procession.


Despite having regular breaks to allow for refreshments & to spend a penny, It is highly advisable that you load your vehicle with snacks and drinks to last the afternoon as it can get quite warm at times.


Where possible, try and limit the amout of alcohol consumed throughout the afternoon as you can quickly become dehydrated and need to be able to get on and off the float safely.

Get In Touch

Please use the contact form below to get in touch with the St Wilfrid's Procession committee.

Once we receive your message, a member of our team will assign the message to the most appropriate committee member for your enquiry and they will get back to you at their earliest convenience.