Monday, July 4, 2011

May Day Candyland Float

Sue wrangling children on the float, helper girls in their colorful outfits

In May of this year my friend Kerry and I decided to do a float for Lillooet's annual May Day Parade. Lillooet is one of the last communities in B.C. (so I've been told) that has May Pole dancing and a parade and crowning of the May Day Queen and princesses. It's a lot of fun and has been going on for a loooooong, long time. We wanted to join in - and of course I "forced" Sue to participate too!

Our theme for the float was "Candyland". I went nuts making giant papier mache candies and gumball machines and giant coke cans and slushies and chocolate bars and giant ice cream cones, Kerry made giant Hersheys kisses and giant cotton candy. Did I mention we made them giant? Here is some "during the creative process" photos.

Chocolate bar and Strawberry Ice Cream Cone

Gumballs painted up for the gumball machine

Ice cream cone in stages of papier mache

Slushie cup after first coat of papier mache (over large garbage can)

Gumball machine all done

Slushie cup all done

Sue and I hijacked my neighbour's shop to decorate the float. We twisted their arms and forced them to help out as well. I love my neighbours! Check out the pics of the almost finished float in their shop below.

Front half of float

Back view of float ( I love this view of the donuts and slushie!)

The finished product was pretty darn cool! The kids loved it! Kerry and I recruited some helpers to assist us with handing out goodies. We handed out homemade mini-cupcakes, homemade caramel M & M popcorn, homemade donut-shaped cookies (complete with pink frosting and sprinkles), and lots and lots of cotton candy. Some of the smaller helpers stayed on the float and threw out candies to the crowd.
Everyone loved the mini cookie monsters and mini flowers!

We motored along the parade route so fast it seemed to only last a minute. Time flies when you are having fun!

That's me in the red apron and Kerry on the other side in the pink with the chef hat!

At the end of the day our Candyland Float walked away with several trophies. Kerry's kids won Best Kid's Costume (they were dressed as bags of jelly beans), we won Best Commercial Float (We entered under Sue's husband's company name), and....TAA DAA....... Best Overall Float in Parade!
Kerry, me, and Kenzie with our prizes!

It was so, so, so much fun. We are already trying to think of themes for next year's parade. I have decided I love papier mache !


  1. Congrats on the prizes! Looks like it was a lot of hard work!

  2. Thanks Heather! It was a lot of work but the fun we had made it all worthwhile :)

  3. The chocolate bar was real it looked...I like chocolate but I wouldn't eat that, well not all of it!

  4. Oh my gosh, this is AMAZING! I'd love to incorporate some of these ideas into my Christmas candy land! Any tips on the chocolate bar and the ice cream cone? :-) WONDERFUL!

    1. Chocolate Bar – I used a thin cardboard box, you know, the ones that posters some in, as the base of the bar. I covered it with a thin layer of paper mache and painted it dark brown. For the “chocolate” I used a thick (sturdy) piece of cardboard. The cardboard was long enough that about 7 inches or so was inside the thin box so it would be sturdy. Then I taped it down so it wouldn’t fall out. I folded up newspapers in quarters to make the “squares of chocolate” so they would be an even size. Then I taped the folded newspaper in place on the thick piece of cardboard and then I proceeded to paper mache over them. Then I painted them a light brown. When all the pain was dry I sprayed it with a clear, waterproof spray paint. The “Chocolate” sign on the bar was cut out of posterboard and hot glue gunned onto the bar.
      Ice Cream – The cone is a poster board simply rolled into a cone shape, taped, and the top trimmed so it is even. I then stuffed the cone full of crumpled newspaper to make it more stable and give the base some weight. The “ice cream” is a large balloon blown up and carefully taped to the cone so it wouldn’t move. The secret to the ice cream is to do many thin layers of paper mache, letting them dry in between. Instead of using newspaper for the paper mache, I used ripped up paper towel. It worked really well. Warning – the cone gets soggy and a bit squishy as you apply the paper mache. Don’t try to do the cone and the ice cream at the same time. I paper mached a layer on the cone, let it dry, paper mached a layer on the balloon, let it dry, etc… To get the bunched up look around the ice cream you simply crumple up newspaper and tape it in place and then paper mache long strip over it. It can be a bit fussy.
      Hope that is helpful! Have fun with your Christmas candy land :)

  5. Wow, thanks! GREAT instructions!! I'm going to have to try to make these this year! :-) Thanks so much!! You're so creative! :-D

  6. How long did it take to do all that it looks great wow!!!!

    1. Thank you :) It probably took a total of 2 weeks to get all the paper mache and crafts done for the float. To decorate the float itself, I think it took us 2 days.

  7. How did you make the gumball machine? Looks really great! Thanks

    1. The gumball machines was a box on the bottom and then two clear plastic bowls (like the large ones from the dollar store for salads) taped together for the top. The gumballs are Styrofoam balls that we painted different colors. We used tinfoil to cover the top of the box and then red duct tape to hold the bowls together and cover the box. We cut a small hole in the top of the box for the bottom of the bowl to sit in a little bit and then used a glue gun to secure it in place.