Top 7 Parade Tips

Tis’ the season for floats, clowns and marching band. Here in Canada we’ve passed Thanksgiving and just this past Sunday the 111th Toronto Santa Clause Parade took place (one of the oldest and largest parades in North America).

As we go into November and December we will see more and more Holiday parade’s happening including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and many more.

Parade’s are a great adventure for family and friends but can be a bit of trouble for people living with a chronic or invisible illness.

So to make it through a holiday parade as painlessly as possible, we’ve created a list of to-dos, reminders and tips to make it a bit easier.

What to Bring

  1. Medication. Medication. and dare I say, Medication!! It can be so easy to forget to bring it, or take it on busy days, but the key to a successful outing is to make sure that medications are taken when they are supposed to. Cell Phones and digital watches can be great to set a reminder.
  2. Layers. Clothes are amazing, they keep you warm and cool. Keeping your body temperature balanced can be so key to keeping your mood up and to keep you feeling on top. I absolutely cannot let my body temp. get out of control without it influencing my disorders. Layers allow you to add or remove as you get hot or cold and keep your body temperature at a comfortable level to avoid any triggers. 

    We love chairs like this! Easy to buy at Canadian Tire or Walmart in summer seasons but hard to find in winter! Just ask them to check their storeroom or check out your local outdoorsman store!
  3. Snacks, water and other drinks. Be sure to bring any edibles needed to keep blood sugars, up or just to keep you happy. The less things you give your body to stress about, the better your day will go.
  4. Snacks, water and other drinks. Not a typo!! Just as you need to bring edibles to keep you happy, you need to watch the extra goodies that go around! So many disorders and conditions require a restricted diet. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time or indulge, just try not to overindulge
  5. Chairs. Fold up chairs are great and be purchased at a low cost. They have great ones with bags and a strap. This is especially important if you aren’t used to standing a long time – or have a hard time standing up if you sit on the ground.  
  6. Assistive devices. It can be embarrassing sometimes to bring a device – especially if it’s “in case of emergency” but it’s better to be slightly embarrassed and prepared than to be unprepared.
  7. Ear plugs. If you or one of your children is sensitive to noise, or has a hearing sensory issue, ear plugs may be needed for when the marching bands come by.

Where to Watch

  1. Go early, and know the route. This will help you find the best spot where you can “set up shop” without  too much hassle. 

    Toronto Santa Clause Parade from the balcony of a condo - Photographer: Nikki
    Toronto Santa Clause Parade from the balcony of a condo – Photographer: Nikki
  2. Try to find someone you know on the parade route. Social media is great, if you Tweet or Facebook your request, you never know when a friend-of-a-friend has a condo downtown, or an office that overlooks the route they can let you sit and watch from.
  3. Parking. Be sure to park, or know an accessible exit or be accessible from outside the route. This is especially important if you frequently require EMS services.
  4. Watch at home. If you don’t do crowds well, outside or standing for hours, sometimes the best thing is to watch at home on tv or from a live stream. Invite some friends over, and make it a party.

Written by Jane

Have you got tips for parade goers? What’s your favourite holiday parade?


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