Until Our Next wine Festival

Grande Parade Guidelines & Application


The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival is proud to present the 2018 Grande Parade. This rain or shine event will happen in the downtown core of the St. Catharines, Ontario, where we will welcome more than 70,000 spectators. The 2018 Meridian Grande Parade is produced by the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

This Parade Application Entry Form and the Rules and Regulations contained therein, will provide your organization with the opportunity to provide DETAIL to the Parade Committee assisting them with the selection process. Please note; the completion of this application and receipt of it by the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival does not constitute acceptance into the Grande Parade. Each entry will be evaluated based on the detail provided and an acceptance or decline letter will be emailed to your organziation. Only entries that have been completed in their entirety will be considered. Please note, referring to past submissions is not considered completed and will be declined.

Each year, the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival, aims to present a parade that is entertaining, cohesive, creates a sense of fun for spectators and participants alike as well as providing a safe experience for all. The Grande Parade is an opportunity for everyone involved to truly shine both in the community and to the visitors who flock to the parade route each year to enjoy the festivities. The criteria found herein, were established to protect the interests of both the Festival and the participants.


A direct link to the form is below the information and rules for submission.

Entry Fees

Commercial Entry

The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival welcomes the support of Commercial Entries. Commercial Entry Fees will allow the Commercial Entry to place banners and banner carriers with a company logo to identify their support, or an expanded float or walking group, upon approval of the Niagara Wine Festival. The Commercial Entry Fees are used to enhance the overall appeal and entertainment of the parade. An entry will be categorized as commercial if it bears a company name, symbol, any signage related to a commercial business for the intention of exposure or is accompanied by a commercial mascot (ie Ronald McDonald, A&W Root Bear, etc.). The Niagara Wine Festival encourages Commercial Entries to sponsor/partner with a not-for-profit group in the Grande Parade thereby lowering their fees and should contact the Festival office prior to beginning plans for their entry.

Commercial Entries are $2,800 CAD including HST.

Not-For-Profit Entry

An entry will be deemed not-for-profit if the organization has documents showing that it is a Registered Not-for-Profit Group or Organization. Proof of Registration may be requested of any applicant by the Parade Committee prior to acceptance.

Not-for-Profit entries are $45 CAD including HST.


Acceptance Process

Parade Submissions must be received by the deadline of June 23rd, 2018 and accompanied with the completed application, Certificate of Insurance, and payment. Entries received after this date will not be considered for the 2018 Grande Parade. We urge all applicants to confirm their application status before bearing any expenses or beginning construction of their entry. Completion of an application does guarantee your acceptance as a participant in the parade; it is simply a statement of your entry offering. Each entry is evaluated based on details provided. An acceptance or decline letter will be emailed to your organization.

The first step in the application process is to complete the 2018 Grande Parade Application Entry Form. Please provide as much detail as possible and include as much supplementary information as you believe the Committee will require to make a well informed decision. Photos and drawings are quite beneficial to enhance your application presentation, aiding the Parade Committee to imagine your vision. Do not leave any sections blank or filled in with ‘Same as last year’. Parade Committee Members are not the same year to year, and they need as much current, accurate information as possible. If you don’t exactly know the detials at the time of application, plese indicate this, however, the more complete the application, the higher chance of acceptance.

Please carefully read the explanation of the application process below, making note of the rules and best practices for you, the applicant, as well as those of the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival. Until August 25, 2018, applicants can submit a written/emailed request to make changes/additions to their application at any time during the acceptance process.

After the application deadline has passed, all valid entries will be evaluated by the Parade Committee based on the following criteria: 


  1. The completion of your application.
  2. Additional content; drawings, descriptions, photos or video, etc. accompanying the application.
  3. A review of your submission to ensure that the Rules and Regulations have been incorporated into your design.
  4. A review of your submission that the following components are evident in your parade entry: colour/pageantry, movement, the inclusion of a theme, inclusion of a Grande Parade theme, that your entry has met the Festival's minimum safety standards, that your entry is unique to other entries, that your entry looks positively distinctive on the day of the parade as compared to all the other days of the year and that you have made an effort to "wow the crowd".

Each entry is individually evaluated and scored using a criteria matrix. Submissions will be approved or rejected based on their individual score. Entries who do not meet the minimum requirements will be provided with an opportunity to resubmit their application by August 25th, 2018


Each year the Festival presents the following Awards:

The Founder's Cup
Presented to the entry that best presents a grape and/or wine industry theme.
The Harvest Award
Presented to the entry that best presents the 2018 theme.
The Vintage Award
Presented to the entry that best represents a feature of the Niagara Region.
The Best Dressed Award
Presented to the vehicle entry with the best decor.

Award winning entries will only qualify for one award per year. Entries are eligible for awards at two year intervals. Entries must demonstrate significant changes to the design presentation each year to be considered. Only entries that meet the outlined award criteria will be considered for judging on parade day, beginning at 9am in the marshalling area.

The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival, the Parade Committee and the Staff are not responsible nor will be held liable for any costs incurred with the production of any entry to the Niagara Grape & Meridian Grande Parade.

  • Entries will be judged by the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival Grande Parade Judging Committee and will be judged based on the criteria outlined in Rule #3, beginning at 9am in the parade marshalling area.

  • A minimum of four entries in any category must be present for judging to take place. 

Rules & Regulations: All Entries

  1. Completed Parade Application Entry Forms must be received at the Festival Office by 4:30pm on June 23, 2018. Entries received after this date, WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED for the 2018 Meridian Grande Parade.

  2. All entries, including vehicles and/or live animals, MUST provide proof of third party liability insurance, for a minimum of $2 million AND name The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival as an additional/also insured OR as the Certificate Holder. Personal vehicle liability insurance is not valid for the Grande Parade. Failure to provide proper insurance documentation will result in your entry’s removal from the parade up to and including the morning of the parade. The Festival will NOT be held responsible for any costs incurred due to the removal of the uninsured vehicle. Note: It takes a minimum of two weeks to have your insurance carrier provide required documents - please allow for sufficient time.

  3. All applicants must provide detailed information outlining the entertainment value of their entry. All applicants will be evaluated on: creativity, colour/pageantry, incorporation of the 2018 theme, and/or the incorporation of the grape/wine/wine culture themes, and/or the incorporation of the harvest theme, pertinence to the Niagara Region, safety and cohesive presentation.

  4. Float entries must provide a description of their float that includes the name of their entry, theme, construction details and size. The maximum float height is 13’6”; there are no length or width restrictions. Include a description of your safety measures for anyone riding in or on your entry: there must be a minimum 4’ railing with a horizontal rail at each foot or seat belts for each rider attached to grounded seats. Rope railings must be taught, with at least one rope for every foot. Riders on floats cannot have their feet hanging off the sides/back of float nor can they leave the float once the Parade commences.

  5. The dress code for the Grande Parade is a uniform look; no sports jerseys and no denim of any colour. A uniform look can consist of logo’d clothing, uniforms or simply having everyone wear similar colours.

  6. All support personnel must be in cohesive attire to the theme of the entry. Only one support vehicle is allowed per entry and the Festival must provide prior consent. Personal vehicle liability insurance is not valid for the Grande Parade. For appropriate documentation refer to rule #2.

  7. All marching/walking parade participants must be a minimum of 10 years in age and 48 inches in height. Anyone not meeting these requirements are to ride in/on a parade entry. Strollers, wagons etc are not permitted in the Grande Parade.

  8. Any participant who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be asked to vacate the parade route.

  9. The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival will not be responsible for any injuries or damages to entry prior to or during the parade. 

  10. In order to maintain parade flow, Stand and Show performances are not permitted along the parade route.

  11. To maintain parade route safety, participants are not permitted to pass out items to spectators. This is a strictly enforced policy and any violation to this rule may affect future participation.

  12. Entries that do not abide by the Rules and Regulations or by the details agreed to within the Parade Acceptance Letter will be denied entry into the Parade up to and including the morning of the Parade, regardless of past history or current affiliation. The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival will not be held responsible for any costs incurred due to the removal of the entry. 


Rules & Regulations: Floats & Vehicle Entries

  1. All floats must be self propelled, unless otherwise agreed to. It is the responsibility of the entrant to supply their own fuel, licensed driver, fire extinguisher and insurance. Personal vehicle liability insurance is not valid for the Grande Parade. For appropriate documentation refer to rule #2.

  2. Any damages caused by the storage or transport of your float to the marshalling area must be repaired before leaving for parade route. The Parade Marshal will perform a final inspection of your entry prior to the parade commencing and unsatisfactory entries will be removed from the line up at that time. If you wish to arrange for a Friday inspection of your entry, please contact the Festival office by September 15th, 2018

  3. A detailed drawing or photograph must accompany all motorized or mechanical entrants. All motorized vehicles must be clean and in proper working condition. Personal vehicle liability insurance is not valid for the Grande Parade. For appropriate documentation refer to rule #2.

  4. Vehicles that are a stand alone entry or towing an entry MUST be decorated to match the overall theme of the entry as per the minumum standards. 

Rules & Regulations: Live Animal Entries

17. All equestrian and live animal entrants must provide their own clean-up crew; who are easily identifiable as part of the group. Animals must be tethered to a vehicle to participate. A leash held by hand is not an acceptable form of animal control. Please see Rule #2 for appropriate liability insurance documentation 

Rules & Regulations: Sponsorship Acknowledgement

  1. Sponsorship identification on entries must be restricted to one panel, maximum 8’ long by 1’ wide OR 2’ long by 4’ wide, unless otherwise agreed to by the Parade Committee.

  2. Entry Sponsors will be recognized at Review Stand and on televised broadcast. 

Stand & Show Opportunities

The Drumline Opportunity is open to four groups that will be given the spotlight in the Niagara Wine Festival Grande Parade. The four groups selected will be invited to present a performance feature during the Grande Parade on September 24, 2016. ONLY invited drumlines will be permitted to stop during the Parade. The opportunity to be chosen as one of the select groups is open to all groups including music schools, elementary and high schools, post secondary institutions and sports team drumlines or a talented group of individuals that got together especially for Niagara’s largest parade. The selected drumlines will stop along the parade route at designated locations.

To be eligible, your group must have an identifiable artistic presentation and coordinate a thematic message that fits with any of the three 2016 Grande Parade Themes:

  • Homegrown Niagara- Agriculture
  • The Niagara Region
  • Grapes and/or wine and wine culture

Deadline for submission is June 24, 2016 at 4:30pm.

If you wish to include a vehicle/float in your Stand and Show presentation, these elements are subject to the Rules and Regulations #1 through to #19.

For more information email: parade@niagarawinefestival.com

[Online Grande Parade Application Form]

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