Grand Parade Rules & Regulations

The Grand Parade Committee accepts entries based upon overall show and entertainment value.  Use of theme, artistic beauty, use of color, animation, special effects, originality, rider personnel, costumes, and visual appeal all come into play in determining the acceptability of an entry.  The parade is not a platform for political, religious, social interests, or targeted special groups.  No entry will be permitted to participate in the parade if, in the judgment of the Parade Committee, it reflects such issues.

The safety of parade participants and spectators is our primary concern.  Law enforcement officers will be stationed along the parade route.  Your cooperation is required.  Each entry and participant is subject to immediate dismissal from the parade for any action deemed to be in violation of these parade rules or deemed to be an unsafe action or activity.

Mandatory Liability Insurance

A general liability and automobile liability insurance policy at limits of $1,000,000 combined single limit for Bodily Injury and Property Damage must be carried for each entry, and you must send us a certificate of insurance before your entry can be accepted.  Tell your agent that the certificate must contain an “Additional Insured” and “Cancellation” clause stating the following:

  • Additional Insured Clause:  “The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society, its Board of Directors, its staff, its members, agents and sponsors; and the City of Bradenton, and the Bradenton City Council”
  • Cancellation Clause: This policy of liability insurance shall not be canceled or suspended or terminated, nor shall the limits of liability be reduced until after thirty days notice thereof is given by certified mail to: The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society, PO Box 1663, Bradenton, FL 34206.
Required Safety Equipment
  • Fire Extinguishers.  All floats and any vehicle or trailer with a generator must carry a fire extinguisher with a current certification.  Vehicles will be inspected by the Manatee County Fire Marshall.   Cars or trucks that do not have generators or are not pulling floats are exempt.  You will NOT be able to purchase fire extinguishers at staging so please make sure your float or trailer has an extinguisher or you will not be permitted to participate in the parade.
  • Security Walkers.  Each entry is required to provide security walkers to assist local law enforcement in keeping the public along the parade route safely away from the moving vehicles/floats.   A minimum of two walkers are required for entries up to 25 feet in length, and two additional walkers for each additional 10 feet in length.
  • Safety Vests.  Security walkers are required to wear a DOT Class 1 Reflective safety vest during the parade.  Safety vests will be available for purchase at staging.
Mandatory Time Line for All Entries

9:30am: Staging grounds at Manatee High School open
3:30pm: ALL entry units (floats and vehicles) must be in staging
5:00pm: All drivers must be at their units
5:30pm: All participants must in/on their unit
6:30pm: Parade begins

Your Entry Must Match Your Application

Space is extremely limited in staging.  Each entry has space allocated to it based upon the information (size/length of entry) provided in the application.  Entries that are significantly larger or not conforming to the application submitted may be assessed additional fees, moved to the end of the parade, or prohibited from participating – forfeiting their entry fee.  Walking entries are limited to bands, drill teams, or unique entries approved by the Parade Committee.

The Signage On Your Entry Must Match Your Application

Except for licensed towing companies like Stepps Towing, all signage on your entry or float must match your application.  For example, if you enter as “Great Giving Charities”, then the signage on your entry (except for your tow vehicle as stated above) must state “Great Giving Charities” or information about Great Giving Charities such as “Giving back to American’s In Need”, etc.  You cannot add the name of a sponsor or other entity such as “Sponsored by American Plumbing”.

Age Restrictions
  • No children under the age of 5 may participate in the parade
  • Children between the ages of 6 to 12 years must be accompanied by an adult and must be riding on a float or inside of a vehicle.  The acceptable ratio of supervision is one adult for every two children.
  • No child under the age of 16 may walk in the parade except for those in a marching band.
Prohibited Activities
  • No candy may be thrown during the parade.
  • All beads must be thrown as far from the entry as possible.
  • Handing beads directly from the side of the float endangers the public by encouraging them to approach the float.  This activity is strictly prohibited.
  • No printed materials may be distributed along the parade route.
  • No firearms, cannons, or fireworks may be used in the parade.
  • No sirens – except for official emergency vehicles.
Staging Area
  • Staging is conducted on the grounds of Manatee High School – a public school
  • Consumption of alcohol on school grounds is prohibited by State Law.

Entry fees will only be refunded for cancellations received up to 1 week before the parade. 

Cancellation Policy

We are a not-for-profit organization.  We incur significant up-front expenses in putting this event on, and they are not refundable.  Therefore the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society will not be able to issue refunds, partial refunds, nor deferrals for the cancellation of this event due to weather conditions or public safety – circumstances that are obviously beyond our control.


Fostering and facilitating an appreciation of Manatee County’s Spanish - American heritage and cultural alliances through special events, community collaborations and charitable giving Since 1939

605 17th Ave W 
Bradenton, FL 34205
(941) 747-1998
Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 5:00 
Sat - Sun: Closed