Texas Connects Us: The Float Makers

In a warehouse just west of Downtown Dallas, the Watts family is hard at work making one-of-a-kind floats for parades all over the country.

Crystal Watts, her brother Roby and their dad Clyde are kind of like the first family of float-making.

"I'm decorating the float, making it pretty," said Crystal Watts.

"Yeah, I didn't want to do the decorating. I wanted to do the construction," said Roby Watts.

"They get to do all the hard work. I get to come in and play," said Clyde Watts.

Even mom is part of the team.

"It's a real tough job. You work all week, so you can work all weekend," said Clyde Watts. "All your events are on weekends."

The Wattses have been making parade floats in Dallas since 1983. They make hundreds a year.
"We've, at times, done floats for $50-, $60-, $70,000, each," said Clyde Watts.

"You're only limited to your budget, your check book," said Clyde Watts. "We'll go any place, any time. As long as you can pay for it, we can get it done."

Through the years, the Wattses have seen a lot of changes. They just added a machine to help cut out letters and logos, something they used to do by hand with a spinning jig saw.

The Wattses ship their floats all over the country. Each one is customized down to the littlest detail.

"Obviously just like a car when you buy it, the more luxurious it gets, the more expensive it gets," said Clyde Watts.

The Wattses are rushing to wrap up their Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade floats. They will have 15 floats in Monday's parade in Dallas.

"There's really no such thing as an original idea anymore. You just have to find more and more ways to make it different and more appealing," said Clyde Watts.

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