A parade (also called march or marchpast) is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by fire departments, marching bands, floats or sometimes large balloons. Parades are held for a wide range of reasons, but are usually celebrations of some kind. In Britain the term parade is usually reserved for either military parades or other occasions where participants march in formation; for celebratory occasions the word procession is more usual. In the Canadian Forces the term also has several less formal connotations.
Protest demonstrations also sometimes take the form of a parade, but in such cases are usually referred to as a march instead.
The parade float got its name because the first floats were decorated barges that were towed along canals with ropes held by parade marchers on the shore. Today, parade floats are traditionally pulled by motor vehicles or powered themselves.
Since the advent of technology, it is possible for aircraft and boats to parade. A flypast is an aerial parade of anything from one to dozens of aircraft, both in commercial context at airshows and also to mark, e.g., national days or significant anniversaries. They are particularly common in the United Kingdom, where they are often associated with Royal occasions. Similarly, for ships, there may be a sail-past of, e.g., tall ships, as was seen during Trafalgar 200, or other sailing vessels as during the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of World War II. The longest parade in the world is the Marksmen's Parade that takes place in Hanover every year during the Schützenfest. The parade is 12 kilometres long with more than 12,000 participants from all over the world, among them more than 100 bands and around 70 floats and carriages.