Everyone Loves a Parade – But Not a Crowd

Everyone Loves a Parade
Everyone Loves a Parade

Parades bring pomp and circumstance, spectacle and grandeur, and sights and sounds unlike any other. In our technology-driven culture, the parade remains one of the few vestiges of public performance remaining. Whether its the over-the-top balloons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the supernatural vibes of El Dia De Los Muertos, or even a small-town parade of local sports teams, parades bring varied experience, skill, and artistic mastery to the eyes of many, and joy to all.

It’s precisely this enjoyment of motley arrangements Calliope Games sought to capture in Everyone Loves a Parade, a dice-rolling, symbol-matching game from designer Mike Mulvihill. Everyone Loves a Parade supports 2-6 players age 8+. A typical game lasts around 30-40 minutes.


Each player takes the Score marker, Chassis card, and three Float pawns of their color. Then, they place the chassis card with the float pawns on it in front of them.

Shuffle the Decoration cards and deal five face-up in the middle of the table, with the remaining deck face-down next to them.

Shuffle the thin Crowd cards and deal a line of cards face-down. Lay out a number equal to the number of players times three. This is the parade route! Set aside the rest for the next game.

The oldest player goes first (finally!).

Beginning the first round with three players


In Everyone Loves a Parade, your goal is to make the most attractive floats for the parade. Of course, you won’t know what the attendees will want until you see them! A game of Everyone Loves a Parade is played across three rounds. In each round, players draft three decoration cards and display their float to the crowds.

Crowd and Order Cards

In each round, first reveal the crowd cards; one card for each player. Place the indicated dice on the cards on their starting icons. Then, randomly deal an Order card to each player. Keep these secret; Order cards will define the crowd draft order for the end of the round.

The Decoration Draft

Starting with the first player and proceeding clockwise, circle the table three times with each player drafting a Decoration card. Replace cards as soon as they are taken.

Cards have icons that allow players to perform a variety of actions. Players use these actions to manipulate the dice location and faces to maximize (or minimize) the value of crowd cards.

Everyone Loves a Parade decoration cards arranged in three rows (red, yellow, blue) and three columns (flowers, flags, balloons)
More valuable cards have less valuable actions (ie. red flower – worth 6 – allows you to reroll one die currently showing balloons) and vice versa (blue balloon, worth 2, allows you to change any single die to whatever face you choose)

Taking the Floats

Once each player has three Decoration cards, all players reveal their Order Cards. From lowest to highest, players perform Order actions (if they have any), and place one of their float tokens on a Crowd card that hasn’t been selected yet.

The Score

To score, players remove all duplicate dice (colors OR symbols) from their chosen crowd. Then, score the crowd by matching symbols and colors from the dice with the Decoration cards in their tableau. Each card scores its value every time its symbol OR color appears. For example, if a player has a red flower card (which scores six) and their crowd card has a red face AND a flower face, that player will score twelve points for that card.

Red player float with yellow balloons and two sets of red flags. Red car is on a crowd card showing die faces of red, balloons, and flags.
Red player places their float, and scores 10 points for red decorations + 3 points for balloons + 10 points for flags.

Finally, players move their score tokens along the scoring track.

Scoring track for Everyone Loves a Parade
Scoring after one round in a three player game.

Do it Again!

Discard Decoration cards and reveal the next set of crowd cards. Roll the dice, re-shuffle and deal the Order cards. Now the player with the lowest score goes first! The game lasts three rounds.

Red, yellow, and blue cars lined up on crowd cards.
The final parade order in our three-player game


We enjoyed our time with Everyone Loves a Parade despite the fact that our family aren’t really “parade people”.. Our kids liked the idea of selecting decorations that matched up with the crowds that were waiting for them. Pattern matching is a learned skill!

This feels like a serious take on parades. There are no bombastic, crazy decorations or highly stylized cartoon images on display. It felt more like a small-town theme than the hugely popular national spectacles.

Crowd cards picturing small-town businesses: Freedonian Gazette, Alex's Ice Cream and Root Beer, Arts 'n' Crafts, Dave's Guitar School
We loved the small-town details on the crowd cards

Player Counts

The game played very different at varied player counts. The rules make two player games effectively four player games by playing double the game (two sets of floats and two Order cards for each player). Three was the best, balancing the least down time for other players and the back-and-forth strategy well. Four players felt fine, but five and six player games dragged. It was a struggle to keep the full family occupied through three rounds of Parade, with some of us wanting to tap out halfway through round two.

Higher player counts also got quickly unwieldy with 15 or 18 of these thin crowd cards lined up, dominating the table for the length of the game. A wayward breath could ruin your parade watchers’ days! Who wants that?

10 colored parade cars sit on 10 crowd cards from Everyone Loves a Parade
A five player game requires 15 crowd cards!

Order Cards

Beyond the issues at high player counts, the game came down to luck of the draw with the order cards. Depending on what you got and what other players drafted, you would either be trying to balance the crowds (drafting late) or stack one or two for your advantage (drafting early). With only thee Decorations turns, this was still difficult to do.

The powers helped balance the later draft cards a little bit, but not enough. Even really great powers at seven and eight aren’t that helpful if you just can’t match your cards with the remaining crowd icons or colors.

Blue player has four decoration cards: blue flags, red flags, blue flags, blue balloons
Drawing extra decoration cards (using the blue flag card’s power) might help your float, but only if you can match them with the right crowd!

Final Thoughts

There’s something really fun in Everyone Loves a Parade in the pattern matching and the idea of parading (hah) your floats past the crowds, but it was hard for the kids to get past some of the issues. The difficulty of playing at five players (our family size) and the imbalance of the Order Cards led to too much frustration for the kids. With the theme not solidly grabbing their attention and keeping them at the table, it just wasn’t a hit.

We’d recommend Everyone Loves a Parade for an older group of three or four gamers who appreciate the parade theme and enjoy matching games and dice manipulation games.

Head to your FLGS’s website (or Amazon) to order a copy of Everyone Loves a Parade today.

Green float card, and a float card turned over to show a player aid

The Family Gamers received a copy of Everyone Loves a Parade from Calliope Games for this review.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

Everyone Loves a Parade
  • 7/10
    Art - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Mechanics - 6/10
  • 6/10
    Family Fun - 6/10


Number of Players: 2-6

Age Range: 8+

Playtime: 20-40 minutes (more at high player counts)