“Garden on Wheels” Parade Float

By Dana Griffin


BRISTOL, RI -The Bristol Miss 4th of July and Little Miss float is still being put together. This year, expect to see a full garden floating through town.

For six years, Michelle Sousa Peay has been the creative touch behind the Miss and Little Miss 4th of July parade floats. Her designs are known for being wildly creative, yet frugal.

“We recycle, repurpose, we do what it takes to make it happen,” said Peay.

It's a 40–foot garden on wheels; featuring hundreds of flowers and plants. The undertaking takes a full year to plan. But, even after a year of preparation, the end result tends to just fall into place.

Peay said, “We sort of have a conceptual idea of what we want the float to look like and a lot of the designing happens as you're doing it.” 

The float is being built at ELJ. For nearly 20 years, the construction company has provided a shelter and a lift, for various parade floats. 

“It just like inspires everything when you see the beautiful truck and the beautiful float and all the hard work put into it. It just makes everything that much better,” said Bristol resident, Casey Francis.

Peay guarantees no space on the float will be left bare.

“There won't be a staple exposed, there won't be a plant that's not watered. It will be perfect. And it sure does put a lot of pressure but when you know there's pressure, you rise to the occasion; you get it done and we feel good about it,” said Peay.

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