How much do u charge for parades?

i’ve been aproached by a organisation organising a march to celebrate the opening of a new temple in an area of johannesburg known as ‘Lenasia’
and while i’m waiting to find out how many riders will be interested in taking part, i started wondering how do u go about charging for taking part in a parade?

do u just assume that it’s a civic thing and do it as part of civic duty?
do u charge a flat rate?
per km?
per rider?
do u charge extra if u have to wear/provide costumes?

some input from the parade veterans please?

I personally would not charge if it were a holiday parade or I was representing a non-profit organization.
If I was going to be used as a sponsor tool for a business though I would charge a flat fee…say just $50-$100…nothing major

If the oraganizers ask ‘how much do you charge?’

I’ll tell them $250(CDN) and lower it if they seemed shocked.

If they assume we will ride for free, we’ll ride for free

We used to not charge until we attended a Sept. 11th parade a couple of years ago. The parade was billed as the “Red, White, and Blues Parade.” The parade was down Beale Street (the historic home of the Blues) and given the date, the first anniversary of the Sept. 11th tragedy, we all assumed that it was a civic event. It was a school night and we had the entire club out for this event. However, it was a private party for a group of realtors that were having a convention in Memphis. I felt used and especially bad for the kids and their families. The kids never realized that they had been ripped-off for a for-profit event. They had a great time. At that point we changed our Memphis Unicycle Club policy. We are very flexible in our charges but in general, for private events we ask for at least $100 “donation” to the club. We look forward to participate in local civic parades for free. We are really not good enough at the performance end of things to warrant charging beyond providing a festive atmosphere and presenting some basic skills demonstration. The performances/participation in private events or civic events give us an opportunity to inform the community that our new club exists and the group gets an opportunity to gather and strut their stuff. We have had several of the private (paying) opportunities but as a club we have an obligation to provide a quality performance if we are getting paid and we are so loosely organized and most of us are such novices it is something that we are soft-pedaling.


thanx for the feedback
i think we’re in sofa’s ‘they assume we’ll ride for free’ scenario at the moment
a majority of our members are performers of some sort (no-one exclusively uni)
if it is a non-paying event and they get offered a paying gig a week before, i can’t really blame them if they decide to take it.
at the same time i realise that if i give an organiser an undertaking, i have a responsibillity to produce what i promised.
it’s a fine line and i’m trying to walk it in a win-win manner

Historically our club has charged for shows and done parades for free.

Parades charge a fee to politicians and sponsored floats to cover overhead and pay for some of the talent, like those girls’ marching drill teams that arrive in the huge busses.

We’ve been considering changing our parade policy and after talking with TCUC we are going to include a letter with our application requesting a donation.

Parades are fun but they can be a lot of work to fight the traffic to get there, hopefully get the car parked at the end, shuttle riders and/or work you way up to the staging area, wait for the parade to start, and fight traffic after “just” for a 20 - 40 minute ride. Some of the one-way routes are over two miles long.

For parades consider: Will it be fun for the participants? We go some great distances just because the parade and location are fun. Will it promote unicyling? Parades that are closer to home may not always be as “fun” but you’re promoting your community and providing visibility for your club. Can we get paid? Nothing wrong with covering club overhead for repairs, new unicycles, scholarships, etc.

I like that donation idea as well, and will be using it. I think I will draft up some sort of general contract or something.

When I had my Long Island Unicyclists club, I thought of paid performances as a way to help pay for the gym or other club expenses we might incur.

A parade is a form of performance. There are two factors in determining how much you should charge:

  1. Do you have a good parade performance? If you come recommended from previous parades or shows, that means they want you and someone says you’re good. If you just ride around, you don’t necessarily have a performance.

  2. What kind of parade is it? Some parades have big budgets while others don’t. Chamber of Commerce-type parades, or parades sponsored by one or more businesses tend to have more budget than some others. I don’t have enough experience here to know how to detect the budget level of a parade.

From there, it’s just a question of charging what the traffic will bear. It doesn’t hurt to start by asking a high number (assuming you have a good show to back it up). If not anything else, you make the impression that you’re worth that much.

Obviously, you don’t need to ask for a fee either. Only if you think you’re worthy, and if you think you deserve or need it.

Unicycle groups are not like floats, bands, Shriners, or some of the other typical parade ingredients. Usually there is only one unicycle group to choose from. If they want unicycles, you have the power.

You charge money for doing parades?! But it looks like fun (not that I’ve ever ridden in one…parades aren’t very common over here).


Sure parades are fun. Riding in parades is fun.

Expecting 10+ people to show up and do an hour’s worth of physically demanding work for free is not cool.

I don’t mind doing it for free (because of all the benefits…unicycle awareness, etc…)

but if there is money being offered to buy wood for stunts, a prize to raffle off for gym attendance, etc… I’m all on that.

Re: How much do u charge for parades?

Our club has been in two parades so far (we just started offering to ride
last summer). So far we have done it for free as we “always wanted to ride
in a parade” and as we had a lot of fun doing it. I like the idea of asking
for a donation to your club if the parade has a budget.

I have started the negotiations for our club riding in the Canada Day Parade
in Ottawa (our nations capital) this summer and I will be asking for an
“honorarium” as the government is running it and I know that they have
money! If we get paid I will use the money to buy another club unicycle.

Managing Juggler
Nanaimo Park Jugglers
Ottawa, Canada

“zod” <> wrote in message
> I personally would not charge if it were a holiday parade or I was
> representing a non-profit organization.
> If I was going to be used as a sponsor tool for a business though I
> would charge a flat fee…say just $50-$100…nothing major
> –
> zod - Icey Hot Stunta(z)
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> zod’s Profile:
> View this thread:

Re: Re: How much do u charge for parades?

once again, thanx for the feedback

carl’s point is what got us into this mess in the first place
i was hell bent on getting to ride in a parade
i was about to approach the organisers of the gay pride parade,
not for any ideological reasons, just because it’s the only parade i know of in johannesburg
next thing i know, i get this phone call

given the fact that the parade market around here isn’t exactly bustling, i’m quite keen to go with the donation idea
if we can pay the rent for the hall for a couple of months with the proceeds of one parade i’ll be more than happy

one of our members suggested a rather novel idea for a parade performance
a raffie rider holds up a short pole with four long ribbons attached
while he idles away, four unicyclists grab the ends and ‘dances’ around him (two clockwise, two anti-clock, weaving in and out)) to create the traditional may-pole weave

anybody ever try anything simmilar?

Re: Re: Re: How much do u charge for parades?

Well, Dave, what better way could there be of unicycling “coming out of the closet” so to speak?

With the gay pride march (they DON’T call it a parade - that would imply frivolity) you’d have some chance of national TV coverage, especially if you dress up in drag.


I’ve heard the rule for performers is ask for an amount that makes them flinch, but they’ll still agree to. I don’t necessarily agree with this policy, but I thought I’d throw it out there.
I personally have done dozens of parades, but have only been paid for one of them. There are benefits on both sides of the coin for performances in general.

Paid Shows:
-Money ('nuff said)
-The organizers respect your abilities more because if you are asking for money, they will automatically think that your skill must be difficult and worthwhile (this is a big one for our juggling club. We have been treated extremely poorly when we were doing shows for our university. They had the attitude that they were doing us a favor by letting us perform.)
-The feeling that, no matter how bad it goes or how poorly they treat you, at least you made something out of it.
-If you start doing every unpaid show that comes along, it sets a precedent that says you’ll do anything for free. If you ask for a donation every time, people won’t assume they can exploit you.

Unpaid Shows
-Lower expectations. They should be grateful that you showed up for free, and if you do well, even better! Very low stress environment.
-The feeling that you are helping a worthy cause (if it is a worthy cause) or putting a smile on people’s faces out of the goodness of your heart.
-Increased exposure. If the word gets out that you have a talented club who is willing to perform, you may get a lot more shows, both unpaid and paid.

This is what I’ve found after 4 years in a juggling club. We’ve got a policy to do pretty much any show that comes along (regardless of pay), and we make quite a bit of money doing it.

One more thing. There is a way to work in the money situation while talking on the phone to set up a show/parade. Ask them if there is any sort of compensation for your time. If they were planning on paying you, they’ll tell you the amount they expected. If they say that they didn’t realize that you charge for your performances, you can explain that you generally get paid, but you’re willing to do it for free for worthy causes. We’ve gotten free food, ice cream vouchers, t-shirts, and other stuff by doing this.

I was thinking of asking for $6,000 a parade. Do you think that is enough? I figure when I get to the point were I can idle I’ll ask for more.

That’s a little steep, don’t you think? I wouldn’t go for more than $5,000 until you learn to idle.

Good to know I was in the ballpark. Got one coming up in a month or so… maybe I will have the idle rock solid by then. I could use the money for some new uni stuff.

TCUC charges $400 for a local parade. If it’s out of the metro area, the price is higher. Depending on the parade, we may go lower than the $400. Back when I first began riding, I remeber the price was at about $125 or so. However, to get $400 for a parade, you have to have a nice size group (about 15 or more) and a good routine. Actually, if you have just 4 people and a really good routine, you could get that too.

For TCUC, the parades is where we make most our money to support our club.

Thanks Gilby. Now that is a realistic number to start with. Of course TCUC has some of the best parade routines that exist. So those of us with loosely nit clubs can expect a lot less from our parade appearances. I would say I am back to just lucky they let me in.:wink: SOmeday though people from around the world will know my name and will pay through the nose to see me ride.

One thing TCUC has going for it is Mineapolis/St Paul and the surrounding area has like 500 parades a year. Sometimes when I am up there you have to choose between several in a single weekend! I wonder why there are som many. They only have 2 seasons. Winter and road repair.