School Carnivals are Fundraisers!
When you approach the planning of a school carnival, you must remember that the carnival’s intent is to raise money for the school, PTO, or PTA organization. It should be viewed simply as such. Do things at the carnival that people are interested in and want to spend their time doing.
Ditch the Theme
Don’t get carried away with trying to theme your carnival after a very specific genre or time period. Many times you will sacrifice your carnival’s creativity and fun because you are trying to hold too close to a certain theme.
Keep the carnival food selection very simple. Limit the menu to hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, sodas, water, and a few concession items. Having a very diverse selection of food at your carnival will create long lines at your carnival and could upset many of your carnival-goers. PTO carnival organizers many times get too carried away with food selections. Just remember, people are cranky and not as generous when they are hungry!
HIRE solid vendors
When you are looking for vendors for your PTO carnival be sure to hire great vendors for food, entertainment, and other services that you are going to offer at your carnival. Gathering donations and freebies from companies around your area will result in many no-shows and a poor showing at your carnival. Hire professionals to do things like provide generators for power, light towers for evening carnivals, and the inflatables for kids. Don’t take chances hoping that a donation will show up. Free donations are at the bottom of the priority list for these vendors and you do not want to be on the bottom of anyone’s list for your school carnival.
Have a carnival on a Saturday afternoon
Saturday afternoons are a great time to plan a school carnival. Saturdays work out so much better than Fridays because families often times have down time during the afternoon hours of Saturdays. Fridays are tough for most families when both parents work and there are things to arrange like dinner and other end-of-the-week activities.