Originally published May 28, 2019. Last updated May 3, 2024.

As summer ramps up, so do city celebrations and parades. If your Post participates regularly in these celebrations, ensure everyone is safe and thoughtful with these parade participation safety tips.

10 Parade Safety Tips for VFW Members

  1. Plan ahead

Announce the event to all your members, determine a meeting spot, distribute route maps and organize vehicles.

If your members are decorating vehicles or floats, keep hand tool safety in mind.

  1. Consider the physical fitness of your members

How long is the parade route? Is the route mostly flat or is there elevation to factor in?  What will the weather be like?

Encourage members to look out for each other. If the parade route is longer, consider assigning shifts or rotating out of vehicles.

  1. Check your Post vehicles

If you are using Post vehicles or members’ vehicles, make sure they are in good condition, have properly functioning brakes and a full gas tank.

Ensure your Business Auto Liability insurance coverage is up to date on Post vehicles.

  1. Select your drivers

Implement a clear set of guidelines around who can drive for your organization and guidelines for approved drivers to follow while operating vehicles.

Require all drivers to have a valid driver’s license and prohibit cellphone use while driving.

  1. Follow any parade-specific requirements

When your Post enters a parade, ensure you have a list of the organization’s guidelines. Occasionally, there is a ban on throwing anything into the crowd, such as beads or candy.

Follow the guidelines to ensure your Post can participate in future parades.

  1. Bring a first aid kit

It’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit handy, as well as someone trained in first aid.

Consider training your members in CPR and AEDs, too.

  1. Create clear signage

Ensure your Post’s participation is easily recognized with Post-specific signage.

Member participants could consider wearing matching T-shirts or uniform shirts and caps.

  1. Be careful near floats

If you are walking the parade route, stay a good distance away from any vehicles and floats.

Attempt to stay out of the blind spot of drivers.

  1. Stay hydrated

Even if the weather is mild, encourage participants to drink plenty of fluids, especially if they are walking the route.

Stock extra water bottles in Post vehicles or set up a water cooler.

  1. Dress for the weather

In high temperatures, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Also apply sunscreen and bring more to reapply if the route is long.


Protecting Your Post and Members

From parade attendance to pancake breakfasts, your Post members and leadership are the face of your organization.

At Lockton Affinity, we know the importance of supporting and protecting Post members. That’s why we offer resources like:

We also offer insurance protection for members, including:

  • Director’s and Officer’s Insurance
  • Volunteer Accident
  • Workers’ Compensation

Protect your members today by contacting one of our dedicated insurance representatives.