The Making of an Authentically Local Float

So, look, I know that all of you who saw our award-winning ( if only in your hearts) float yesterday in the Montclair 4th of July parade, did not sleep last night, wondering how in the world I made this thing. Now, because I want everyone to be able to sleep tonight, let me share with you how we created this crazy thing.

First, did we order printed signs? No. Did we have glitz or bling? No. Was it all hand painted and hand done with supplies from local stores? Yes.

The concept for this years float was Authentically Local. Bobby Schlaefer owner of Schlaefer Masonry generously donated his truck and  time to help to us. He cut out the city line out for me on  plywood which I then painted with the Authentically Local logo.

Then, I had 1/4′ Laun plywood cut at West Essex Building Supply for the side panels. They did not charge me for the cuts, the wood is the same price at the giant orange big box hardware store, and I was in and out of there super fast. I authentically love that place!

I painted the side and back boards with chalkboard paint and hand lettered the sides with chalk and then oil pastels. The paint, brushes, flag etc were all from  Royal American Hardware Then I clear-coat sprayed the mess out of it!  The Barista kids did the awesome drawings of local businesses and places on the back board of the float. Bobby attached them all to the truck very securely.

I finished it off with a hand painted coffee cup/beak-less owl logo on the front and back of the float, small American flags and plastic table skirting. At the last minute, we had extra T-shirts donated to us by local businesses, which we attached to the float.

The Baristas and families arrived at 9:30 a.m . We all put on our local T-shirts and after hearing, “Is it 11 o’clock yet?….I have to go potty!…Can we get on the float yet?… Can I have some candy?” 1077 times by the kids, we were ready to roll!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Bobby Schlaefer for his help and driving during the parade. Other than hard work, he added a ton of personality to our float.

Did you see us? Did you wave and cheer? Should we have a water feature next year?

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