The Virginia Museum Where Parade Floats Go to Die
The parade never ends at this parade float museum (Photo: American Celebration on Parade)
Ever wonder what happens to parade floats after the politicians and pageant winners are done flashing their pearly whites and waving from atop them? Once the marching band music stops, the bunting’s been taken down, and the confetti has been swept away, the floats — once the parade’s centerpieces — are largely forgotten, living only in photos.
But some of the biggest, and most famous floats, end up here at "American Celebration on Parade". As you step inside this 40,000-square-foot museum in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, you are immediately struck by oversized sparkly gold tinsel hanging from the ceiling, 12-foot bunnies doing housework, and a family of giant ducks toting umbrellas while they are “Singing in the Rain.” Patriotic songs and Disney favorites blare tinnily from an exhibit as you ponder the unique awesomeness of America!
American Celebration on Parade houses floats that celebrate Americana (Photo: ShenandoahCaverns.com)
Many floats were featured in Rose Parades and some were built by Earl Hargrove Jr., who founded the museum. Inside this wonderland, our childhood love of dollhouses gets flipped inside out. You are dwarfed by an oddly adorable 50-foot-tall dog perched in a Radio Flyer, and a group of pelicans whose wide-open gullets could swallow you whole. This is what 1950s Main Street America would look like on an acid trip.
They’re “Quacking in the Rain.” These “singing” ducks are one of the delightfully kitschy parade floats you’ll see at the museum (Photo: American Celebration on Parade)