Helpful Hints for a Successful Carnival

Through many years of helping organizations plan their carnivals, we have found that the secret to success is planning and organization. Here are ideas and important things to consider when getting ready for your carnival.

  1. Consolation prizes: Every booth should give a consolation prize, especially when children are playing. Let everybody feel like a winner. The more fun they have, the more they will continue to play.
  2. Location: Avoid dirt areas, which can be dusty or muddy. Grass fields, athletic tracks and parking lots make good outdoor locations.
  3. Preparation: Before the carnival, test your games to be sure they are being operated properly. Booth workers should be adults, or responsible teenagers. If possible, let volunteers play the games in advance. Make sure they fully understand the responsibilities of their jobs.
  4. Tickets: When setting prices for your tickets, take your community's economic environment into consideration. If you offer tickets in more than one denomination (25 cents and 50 cents for example) use different ticket colors for the denominations to reduce confusion.
  5. Profit or Non-profit: Decide what your objective is - do you want to run your carnival with plans of breaking even, or as a means of raising money for your organization?
  6. Organization: Before the carnival, meet with booth volunteers and review the following: Location of booth, Work schedule, date & time, Rules of the game, Charge per play, Consolation, small, medium, large & jumbo prizes.
  7. Keep prizes secure: Place them in a box under a table within the booth. Restock booths running short of prizes. Do not take prizes from other booths. When the carnival closes, gather and count all left over prizes.
  8. Order Early: Place your carnival order three or four weeks before the event. Once delivered, organize and sort prizes and supplies by booth.