Heritage & Freedom Fest Parade


Going to the Parade

Whether you want to watch the parade with your family, volunteer to assist, or be in the parade itself, you’re invited to participate.

O’Fallon’s Heritage & Freedom Fest parade is one of the largest and most colorful in the area. The parade draws a crowd of thousands proudly dressed in red, white and blue, and cheering for the patriotic parade entries vying for cash prizes and trophies.

O’Fallon’s Heritage & Freedom Fest Parade officially kicks off the City’s Independence Day celebration at 9:30 a.m. on July 4th. The parade route starts at the corner of Main Street and Civic Park Drive, continuing north on Main Street to Tom Ginnever Avenue, where it turns east, ending at T.R. Hughes Boulevard near the entrance to the festival grounds. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early to avoid traffic closures and find a spot along the route.

The Honor Guard for the O'Fallon Fire Protection District is in their dress blues for the parade.
Local school districts, including Fort Zumwalt, join in the procession to Heritage & Freedom Fest.
Fun, silly floats and participants are a frequent highlight of the July 4th parade.
Crowds line both sides of Main Street as the parade proceeds north to the festival grounds.
The nearly 2-mile parade route follows North Main Street to Tom Ginnever Avenue.
New in 2021, golf cart floats were invited to join in the parade fun.
Local marching bands routinely participate in the Heritage & Freedom Fest parade.
Kids wave 'hello' while patiently waiting for candy to be tossed by passing floats.

Participating in the Parade

The theme for the 2024 Heritage & Freedom Fest parade is Gold Medal Summer. To enter your organization or company in the Parade as a participant, please complete the application by Friday, June 7.

Important Dates

June 12 –  Parade packet pick up at East Entrance City Hall until 6pm.

July 4 – Check in begins at 7 a.m. Must be in place by 8:30 a.m. Mayor's Choice Judging 8:15–8:45 a.m. Parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m.

Road Closures on July 4

7 a.m. – Civic Park Dr. from Woodlawn Ave. to Main St., includes access to City Hall from Main St.

8:30 a.m. – Main St. from Elm St. to Tom Ginnever Ave., all access to Main St. (May vary by traffic flow and set up)

9 a.m. – Tom Ginnever Ave. from Main St. to T.R. Hughes Blvd., all access to Tom Ginnever Ave. (May vary by traffic flow and set up)

How to Build A Parade Float or Golf Cart Float

The links below will help your group get started building an award-winning parade float.

Supplies and Ideas


  • General parade rules and regulations

    General rules

    • Creativity is highly encouraged for all parade entries.
    • Bonus points are awarded for a)following theme b)music c)mechanical movement.
    • Entries with live animals must take care of all animal waste before, during and after parade.
    • Improper use of the American Flag will not be permitted.
    • No water guns or confetti cannons will be allowed.
    • Decorate entries using only fire resistant or flame retardant material.
    • Towed floats must replenish candy behind the float or on the side of truck bed.
    • Candy should be in pre-wrapped and self-contained packages.
    • One support vehicle may be included per entry and decorated – must be listed on the application.
    • The use of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited.
    • No entry may sell merchandise along parade route.
    • If your float breaks down during the parade, move aside as soon as possible.
    • Line-up requests will be considered, but cannot be guaranteed.
    • Disputes may be presented to the Festival Manager for clarification during the parade.
    • The Heritage and Freedom Fest parade is part of a community-wide celebration in a family-oriented environment. It is not a public forum for debate of civic issues or public policy. The Festival office reserves the right to reject any entry that is inappropriate or at odds with the characteristics of the event.


    • Children under the age of eight (8) are not recommended to ride bikes in the parade and should only ride on floats or vehicles under adult supervision.
    • Do not throw candy from the float.
    • Bike riders must adhere to state law regarding helmets.
    • Bring enough water for walkers to last through the parade.
    • It is mandatory to have 4 wheel walkers per float.
    • Keep 30 ft. distance between parade entries!


  • Where can I get a parade application?
    Once available, a link to the online application can be found at the top of the Parade webpage. https://www.heritageandfreedomfest.com/2023-parade-application
  • What is the deadline for submitting an application?
    The deadline for submitting a Parade Participant application is noon on Friday, June 7, 2024.
  • Are there published rules for parade entries?
    Yes, rules for the parade are part of the application.
  • Can I still get in the parade this year if I miss the deadline?
    If you miss the application deadline, please contact Jenna Chwascinski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 636-233-7113.
  • When and where is the Parade Packet pickup?
    Parade Packet pickup is at the east entrance of City Hall on Wednesday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m.
  • What are the rules for floats?
    • Float Dimensions: Max 60 feet in OVERALL length, 14 feet in width or height, including tow vehicles.
    • Any entry with a flatbed float or being towed must be fully skirted on 3 sides (two sides and back) for visual appeal.
    • Entries must carry a fire extinguisher-at least 2-A, 10-B:C rating accessible to the operator.
    • Floats must have hand holds for float riders.
    • Floats must have at least four (4) wheel walkers, one wheel walker on each side of float and one wheel walker on each side of vehicle.
  • Where will my entry be in the parade?
    The parade lineup will be decided by the Parade Leads, you will receive your lineup assignment at the mandatory meeting in June.
  • I am a participant in the parade. Can I park my car in the parade lineup area?
    No. Depending on which section you are assigned to, you will receive a parking option. Information will be included in the Parade Packet.
  • What are the rules regarding signage?
    • One banner or sign must be carried or displayed in front of all judged entries.
    • Banner size requirements: minimum 2 ft. x 2 ft. Maximum of 3 ft. x 25 ft.
    • Banner carriers must be capable of keeping the parade pace.
    • Signs cannot exceed 2 ft. x 4 ft.
    • No “For Sale” signs may be displayed by entries.
  • Where can I drop off people who will be participating in the parade?
    This depends on your lineup location. There are two sections. Section 1 drop off is at Sonderan and E. Wabash Street Parking lot. Section 2 drop off is at Woodlawn and Civic Park Drive.
  • Can my dog walk in the parade with my entry?
    No, unless the dog is a service animal. The pavement gets very hot during the 2.1-mile parade route and may burn the pads of a dog's paws.
  • I have questions regarding my application, who do I contact?
    Please contact Jenna Chwascinski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 636-233-7113.
  • What do I need to know on parade day?
    • Line up begins at 7:00 a.m.
    • Check-in locations will be at each section.
    • A parade coordinator will assign you a number and direct you to your line up area.
    • All participants must be in place by 8:30 a.m.
    • Designate a meeting place for your group for those being dropped off.
    • No parking provided at the line up area or along the parade route.
    • The entry described on your application is the only entry allowed into the parade.
    • All entries must maintain their speed and position throughout the parade.
  • If I have a motorized entry, are there special rules?
    Yes! All motorized entries must follow these rules:
    • All vehicles must be completely restored. Vehicles with missing parts or unfinished paint jobs are not permitted.
    • Motorized vehicles must be operated by a licensed driver with liability insurance.
  • What are the rules for commercial and political entries

    Commercial entries

    • Please see application for fees and deadlines.
    • Commercial entries are eligible for judging.
    • May be sponsored by an individual business or business in a mutual association.
    • Commercial entries must decorate toward the parade theme. Commercial vehicles must be decorated more than 75% or will not be permitted event day.
    • Entries must adhere to general float requirements.
    • A logo or business name may be displayed but float must be further decorated.
    • Floats should not be used primarily for advertising purposes.

    Political entries

    • Political candidates must decorate their entry.
    • Magnets and signs are not accepted as decoration.
  • What are the rules for walking units
    • For multiple entries within a single organization: list the order they will appear on the application. (Schools with cheerleaders, drum majors, band, drill team.)
    • Walkers with children must have a minimum of four (4) adults.
    • Performances must be in a forward motion and/or marching routine.
    • Any action delaying the progress of the parade or creating large gaps are prohibited.


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