When life gives you lemons, join a parade.

This past Saturday was one of the rainiest days we’ve seen this year in Southern California. Granted that’s not saying much, but it was 40 degrees out and just a little chilly…

Despite the weather conditions, we ventured out to the annual Upland Christmas Parade to celebrate the start of the holiday season and the upcoming Lemon Festival.

Preparing for the parade itself was quite the adventure. We had a total of five days to create an Upland Lemon Festival parade layout, make decorations and put together a float. Crazy? Just a bit. Doable? We think so!

Lemons, meet Christmas.  

Voila! Lemons, meet Christmas.

Our theme was simple: Lemons and Christmas. The real question was how to merge the two together. Luckily, our marketing coordinator is a genius and she created lemony yuletide cheer within minutes.

She used a hot glue-gun to stick lemons on Christmas wreaths and placed a bright green ribbon in the center for a spring-meets-winter flourish.

To decorate our lemon carts, we used basic materials from craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. We created lemon canopies using fake 6′ ivy garlands and stringing real lemons into the chains of leaves, using garland wire to secure them.

Real lemons, fake ivy and lots of garland wire 

We hung the lemon garlands along the sides of each cart. The left over ivy garlands wrapped around the poles of the carts, making each vehicle look like a miniature lemon grove. For the final touch, we used fruit barrels and antique baskets and filled them with lemons and oranges, placing them on the back of the carts.

One of our little lemon carts 🙂

The result: three lemon-infested parade carts and three very dedicated staff members and their families driving through downtown Upland, smiling, waving and tossing boxes of LemonHeads to hundreds of parade watchers.

Dedicated parade participants and the citizens of Upland helped the holiday cheer shine through, despite the wind and the rain. That being said, when the Upland Lemon Festival comes around we will be grateful for the bright blue skies of spring.

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