"I’m really looking forward to what people come up with.”

Only a few months away from All Schools Day, parade-planning activities are in full swing.

Those interested in building a float for the All Schools Day parade should attend an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. March 27 at McPherson Museum, 1111 E. Kansas Ave. McPherson.

“If you have any float questions or have never built a float before, this is the meeting you need to go to,” said Joni Regnier, chairperson of the parade committee. “We also have information on where to get float materials as well.”

This year's parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. May 12 in downtown McPherson. Floats will portray the theme, “In Our Hometown” for the 104th All Schools Day.

“You could go so many different directions with that theme. I think it might be a tough one, but I’m really looking forward to what people come up with,” Regnier said.

To encourage participation, financial support is available to those building a float. Upon registration, builders can receive $150 if their float is for royalty, preschool, kindergarten, schools, towns, adult organizations and youth organizations.

Builders should keep receipts as they work, and if expenses exceed the initial $150, they can receive additional funds up to $400. Only float supplies qualify for reimbursement; shirts, sunglasses, hats and handouts do not qualify.

Floats that qualify for incentive money are also eligible to win prizes in the float judging portion of the parade. Awards of $150 will be given to the best preschool, kindergarten and royalty floats, as well as the float that best uses this year's theme of “In Our Hometown.” A single float can win in only one of these categories.

“There’s an art to building a float, both in keeping it safe and looking good,” Regnier said.

The All Schools Day Committee can provide a limited number of spaces for people to build and store floats. No one under age 18 will be allowed in these spaces. Contact the McPherson Convention & Visitors Bureau at 620-241-3340 to reserve a space.

Registration for parade floats will open April 3, and the registration deadline to be included in the printed program is April 14. Those who register after that date will be included on the All Schools Day website, but not the printed program.

All floats should be registered by May 11. Registration forms can be turned in at the McPherson CVB office, located in the McPherson Museum at 1111 E. Kansas Ave. McPherson.