Win a $500 Prize for For Best Float in the 4th of July Parade

Lou Kamer helped build floats at Simon Meadow.
Photo: Morgan Genser

The Palisades-Malibu YMCA float won the First Annual Auxiliary Award and the $1,000 prize in 2022.

Judges were impressed with the more than 100 “jugheads” that had been made, using recycled material and then mounted on the side of the float. Resident Cindy Simon, who is a “cardboard” artist finds ways to upcycle and reuse materials.

Last year, Unit 283 hoped that by offering prize money it might encourage decorating and also reward service organizations who give so much to the community.

One parade goer commented that it seemed like there were more floats in 2022 and wondered if the prize had provided extra encouragement.

PAPA President Matt Rodman said, “The Palisades Americanism Parade Association hopes that the American Legion Auxiliary Award for the Best Community Organization Float will become an annual part of the 4th of July Parade. We thank the members of the Auxiliary for their sponsorship of this award. We look forward to the diamond anniversary of the parade next year, and the second annual Auxiliary Award.”

The first year was so successful, that this year the American Legion Auxiliary has decided to give two $500 prizes.

“We decided to add a second prize this year to encourage more local community participation in the parade,” says Ruth Kahn Wells, President-Elect of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 283.

All local service organizations/schools/nonprofits are eligible. To win, entrants must register with Pageantry Productions at PALISADES4th.COM.

Many groups might worry about how to build a float.

Luckily, resident Lou Kamer, who has helped build floats in the past, has offered assistance. He said that in prior years, “We’ve built Washington crossing the Potomac boats, and Apollo lunar landers with Palisades honorary co-mayors Janice and Billy Crystal.

“We’ve recreated our beautiful local mountains with Resilient Palisades and made a mini-Palisades on a flatbed truck, complete with sun and clouds, dolphins, and a kiddie pool. . .. complete with bubbles,” he said.

This year, all float builders are encouraged to chat with Lou to get an idea, and then meet at the YMCA’s Simon Meadow the day before the parade to assemble the floats.

“We’ll decorate and store the floats,” Kamer said. Then on the Fourth “we’ll head up to the parade staging area and off you go.”

Floats must be registered with the parade ( to be eligible.

Here are the steps:

  • Enter by contacting Pageantry Productions at
  • Gather a group of people together for ideas and support
  • Contact Kamer for his thoughts and come up with an idea
  • Decorate the float on July 3
  • Put your float in the parade – and possibly win $5,000.

The Palisades-Malibu YMCA float won the prize last year. Cindy Simon had crafted little creatures from recycled plastic bottles.


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