Parade Information

All entry forms must be received in our office on or before Friday, Oct. 20, 2023.

Information and Rules

Parade Date: October 28, 2023
Application Deadline: October 20, 2023

I. Definitions of Entries

Float – A decorated structure that is towed by a motor vehicle. All visible sides (including the rear end) must be completely covered with decorations. Must be constructed and decorated so that each side is equally attractive and interesting.


Band – A group that marches while playing musical instruments.

Marching – An individual or group, other than a band, that marches the parade route in costume or uniform. Those marching must be 10 years of age or older.

Identification – All units must be identified. Floats name identification must appear on both sides. Bands and marching units must provide name identification front of the unit.


  1. No stopping to perform along the parade route EXCEPT at the judge’s stand. NO REVERSE MARCHING. Judges may disqualify units from competition for this offense.
  2. No unit should break ranks before reaching the dispersal area.
  3. Throwing of candy, gum, favors, etc., from elements in live is forbidden, as children may be pushed under a vehicle.
  4. Distance between separate units will be two car lengths. Distance between different elements within your group should be no more than one car length.
  5. Keep ranks close up. Exert every effort to keep parade moving and eliminate gaps.
  6. Automobiles, trailers, and floats will govern their speed so as not to overrun marching units.
  7. Any vehicle suffering mechanical failure should be pulled out of the parade line.
  8. Band leaders should conduct their music so as not to overplay adjacent bands.
  9. The judges’ stand will be in front of the Air and Space Museum on Settlers Landing.
  10. Only student groups that are recognized by the Student Affairs Council will be permitted to participate in the parade.
  11. All questions and request for exception must be directed to Mr. Monte’ Gonzalez via email or phone 757.727.5495.


III. Assembly

A. Floats

  1. All floats are to be assembled on Bemis Lawn by 7:45 a.m. the morning of the parade. The Hampton (City) Police Department will provide escort to the City Hall assembly area at 8:00 a.m. If you miss this time, it is very unlikely that your unit will make the parade. (CAMPUS ORGANIZATIONS ONLY)
  2. Float inspection will be conducted at 6:00 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the parade by either the Parade Coordinator, and or representative.
  3. At 6:00 p.m. on the Friday prior to the parade, a final inspection will be conducted to determine participation.
  4. All other floats should arrive at City Hall by 8:00 a.m. the morning of the parade.
  5. Note: Whether you want your entry judged or not, it must be decorated.

B. Bands/Marching Units

  1. All vehicles and participants must arrive to the assembly area between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. – IF YOU ARRIVE AFTER 9:30 AM YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO MARCH IN THE PARADE.
  2. Participants arriving on buses should be dropped off on Eaton Street near the assembly area. Buses should then proceed to Hampton University and park on Bemis Lawn.


IV. Judging (Scoring) of Entries

Scale of Points:  1 to 10

A. Floats – Total of 40 points; 10 points maximum for each category as follows:

  1. Originality
  2. Artistic Design
  3. Esthetic Design
  4. Workmanship (Materials, Construction, Neatness)

B. Bands – Total of 50 points; 10 points maximum for each category as follows:

  1. Precision
  2. Dress (Alignment)
  3. Execution (Drill Formation)
  4. Cover (Straight Line)
  5. Music Quality

C. All Other Participants – Total of 30 points; 10 points maximum for each category as follows:

  1. Originality
  2. Dress
  3. Overall performance

* 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners from each category will be announced during half time of the Homecoming football game.