Parades

Parades

If you want us to perform in your parade, please visit our Request a Performance page.

 

TCUC Parade Expectations

 

Clothing

TCUC members must wear the blue TCUC t-shirt to parades with all-black shorts or pants. Walkers and beginning riders are welcome to wear shoes in any neutral color (black, gray, navy, brown, tan, white). More advanced riders are expected to wear black socks and all-black shoes, including those riding giraffes or riding in the back.

Timeliness

In the time before the parade steps off, we need to make sure we know who will be where in the routine and the back, do a walkthrough to ensure all members understand and feel comfortable with the routine, and check in everyone to the parade. In the weekly emails and in the parade wiki, we will be posting the lineup time for each parade, which is the time we request you arrive at our spot in the lineup. Please remember that we are getting paid to do these parades, and it is important to be professional and organized. Therefore, we ask that you respect both the club officers and the parade organizers by showing up to parades prepared and on time. The parade organizers will have a lineup time posted, although we may have a later TCUC lineup time. Be aware that parking and traffic will be more difficult after the parade’s official lineup time.

 

 

Parades FAQ

Why don’t we wear helmets in parades?
Unicycling is generally an extremely safe sport with a very low rate of injury. We do fall at parades, but usually land on our feet due to the nature of unicycle riding. Even though the parade is on a city street, the environment is very controlled and safe. When we ride on streets and bike paths at other times we do wear appropriate safety equipment, and this often includes helmets.
Why does TCUC do so many parades?
TCUC is primarily funded through the parades in which we perform. Parades are also a great way for the general public to see unicycling. TCUC performs in about 20-30 parades each year; most are in June and July.

How long are the parades?
Parades range in length from as short as six blocks to as long as two miles. Most parade routes are just over one mile.

How many people do you need at each parade?

As many as possible! When we have a large number of people performing in the parade routines, it makes the group look more impressive to the audience and increases the likelihood that we will get asked to come back the next year. It is important to have a good showing at parades, as we are getting paid for the entertainment value we provide to the parade. We would like to have a minimum of 30 people at each parade.
Should I ride in parades?
Absolutely, yes! It is best to have both beginners and advanced riders at every parade. Beginning riders add to the group by waving and greeting people in the crowd.
How good do I have to be to ride in the parade?
You should be able to ride at least a few meters alone. If you cannot freemount the unicycle, you should arrange for someone to assist you. You will ride in the front with the other beginners until you have enough skill for the parade routine.
How good do I have to be to ride in the parade routine?
You should be a Level 2 rider or have the equivalent skills needed for the routine.
When can I ride in the back of the parade routine?
Riders have the option to ride in the back of the parade routine to showcase their advanced skills. This option is available for riders who have reached Level 7 or for riders that show a high level of proficiency, safety and showmanship. It is important for riders to take turns riding in back. The TCUC parade coordinator or their proxy has the final say in determining where each person rides in the parade.
Can I juggle in the parade?
Yes. You must first demonstrate that you can juggle for 30 seconds while riding. If you are riding in the routine, you must participate in the routine, and juggle only while riding forward.
Can I ride my tall unicycle in the parade?
Yes, provided you have passed the test for chain-driven (giraffe)  unicycles: idle 10 times left foot, idle 10 times right foot, still stand with a partner, dismount in all four directions, and ride backwards 10 meters.
Can I ride a TCUC tall unicycle in the parade?
Yes, but people must take turns riding these unicycles. Do not assume that you will be riding a TCUC giraffe, so bring your standard unicycle.
What’s the tallest unicycle that TCUC has in the parades?
Some TCUC members own unicycles 8 feet tall, and these are usually ridden in each parade. Occasionally, a 12-foot unicycle is ridden in a parade where the parade route is smooth.
How much advance notice do I get about a parade?
The parade organizers often don’t send us the information very early; sometimes we receive it just days before the parade. We try to keep everyone informed about the times and locations of parades through the weekly email newsletter.
How come we have to walk/ride from the end of a parade back to the beginning?
The parade organizers route their parade for their best interests, and often do not loop the parade. So we usually have to walk back to our cars, or ask parents to help out by giving us a ride back to the start.
Should I bring a water bottle?
It’s always a good idea to provide your own water whenever you are exercising. However, TCUC usually provides a large jug of water and water bottles at each parade.
What do you wear?
TCUC members must wear the blue TCUC t-shirt to parades with all-black shorts or pants. Walkers and beginning riders are welcome to wear shoes in any neutral color (black, gray, navy, brown, tan, white). More advanced riders are expected to wear black socks and all-black shoes, including those riding giraffes or riding in the back.
Why do I have to be at the line-up so early, and then wait around?
Parade officials set the line-up time so parade units can get into position well before the parade starts. This helps them organize the parade. Often traffic and parking can be a real problem if you do not arrive at the lineup time. The time spent waiting for the parade to start can be spent socializing with other TCUC members, learning new unicycling skills, or juggling.
Do you need people to walk the parade?
Yes, we need walkers(parents, friends, siblings) to hand out water bottles, assist riders, and answer questions from the audience. Walkers receive credit for parades as long as they are members of TCUC.
What is a parade incentive?
If you are in a certain number of parades during the parade season, you will receive a gift from TCUC. For example, after five parades, you may receive a gift certificate or other small gift. The parade incentives change each year and are published in the club newsletter. Usually the incentives are for participating in 5, 10, 15, or more parades.
What happens if TCUC wins a trophy/ plaque in a parade?
We give out the trophies to the members and do not keep any trophies that TCUC wins. The trophies are handed out to families (not individuals) based on seniority. To receive a trophy, you must have the highest seniority at that parade, you must have unicycled at that parade, and you must have participated in 10 parades in that calendar year. Once you have received a trophy, your seniority drops to the bottom of the list so that other families have a chance to receive a trophy.