Skip to main content

Judging Rules

  • All floats, walking entries, horse entries and decorated cars must submit a general written description of the entry with registration form and include size of the entry for staging purposes
  • Any violation of the parade rules will result in the immediate suspension of the group participating in the parade and/or the loss of an award if the group is a competing entry.
  • To be eligible for judging and prizes you must be checked in by 7:30 a.m. on day of parade. If you do not want your entry to be judged, you must check in by 8 a.m. Check-in is at the corner of S. Norbeck St. and E. Main St. Approach check-in station from the east.
  • Floats will be judged on originality, effort, use of the theme, creativity and overall effect.
  • Campus entries and community entries will be judged separately.
  • Walking entries will not be judged, yet must abide by all of the parade rules.
  • The following awards will be given to exceptional floats: Best Overall, President's Award (best USD entry) and Mayor's Award (best Vermillion Area Community entry).

General Rules

  • All units must complete the entire parade route.
  • Absolutely no candy or favors are to be thrown from floats or vehicles. This creates a very dangerous situation for children running into the middle of the parade route with motorized vehicles. If you want to distribute something, you must use walkers. Throwing anything from a moving vehicle will be grounds for removal from the parade route.
  • No stopping along the parade route. The parade is a lengthy event and we seek to make it run smoothly by providing a continuous flow along the parade route. Any group that stops along the parade route may be ineligible to participate in the following year's parade. The only group allowed to stop is the SOUND of USD Marching Band. No other entry may stop unless you stop because of the band.
  • All entries must be in good taste and are subject to the approval of the parade committee. If the entry does not meet these criteria, the parade committee reserves the right to refuse participation.
  • All animals must be supervised by adults at all times.
  • Drivers of motorized vehicles must be 18 or over and must hold a valid license.
  • All motor vehicles must carry proof of insurance. All rules of the road must be followed. Windows, mirrors and lights must be visible on your vehicle at all times.
  • Drugs, alcohol and tobacco use are not permitted on the university grounds and along the parade route. If conduct is inappropriate, you will be asked to leave and you will be disqualified
  • There must be identification of your group/club on all float and non-float entries.
  • No negative campaigning or personal attacks will be allowed in any way shape or form.
  • Calls to action (aka "purchase my product") will not be permitted in the parade. Groups, political entries and businesses may share any information about themselves in their description or through their decorations and signage, but they may not actively tell people that they should buy their product, vote for them or join their organization. The parade is to show support for USD, not to sell a product.

Printable Dakota Days Informational Parade Packet & Application