DONNA'S DAY: Plan sidewalk parade for Fourth of July fun

Keep the fun going with a post-parade picnic after the local neighborhood family parade.

It's time for a sidewalk parade! Whether it's on the Fourth of July, or anytime all summer long, decorate bikes, trikes, scooters, skates and wagons, wear a funny hat and strike up the band. A couple of families with a few motivated kids is really all it takes to make it happen. Gather kids of all ages in your neighborhood, and get marching to the beat of family fun and memory-making.

Here are some ideas to stage the informal, high-spirited event:

• Make and deliver fliers or send emails to announce the sidewalk parade. Designate a place where kids can gather for a pre-parade decorating party. Your deck, driveway, backyard or a local park can be the gathering spot.

Tie ribbons, streamers and flags to bikes and wagons. Make signs and banners.

• Put your child's teddy bear or other stuffed animals on parade, too. Decorate the long sides of a wagon to make it look like a circus wagon. Fill it with their favorite animals. Some kids might like to dress like a clown, while others can be a circus ringmaster or tightrope walker.

• Teens may enjoy participating, too. They can hand out brochures along the mini parade route or wear a sandwich board advertising their services for mowing lawns, babysitting or watering plants for vacationers.

• For post-parade fun, make the day a real picnic and top off the event with snacks, appetizers, a potluck meal or a barbecue. For dessert, set out tubs of ice cream on a picnic table. Ask families to bring their favorite toppings.

• Enjoy a memorable finale with a few games that everyone will enjoy, such as an egg toss, water-balloon volleyball and relay races. Some kids may want to perform impromptu juggling acts, magic shows and songs. Encourage participants to match up with new families on the block or in the building so everyone gets acquainted.

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