Are you hosting a carnival, planning a town or county fair, or perhaps just planning another party with a carnival theme?  The theme of a fun fair is a classic one, perhaps because carnivals are regularly annual events, and many of their games and foods have remained relatively unchanged over the years.  The entire atmosphere of a carnival is itself a kind of nostalgic throwback to simpler times, and that appeal never wears off.  For children, they are fun and magical, and for adults, they are as familiar and enjoyable as the best childhood memories.

Another benefit of hosting a carnival or an event which includes a carnival theme is that carnival supplies are quite affordable.  They are easy to set up and operate for the most part, and together, they can convey a consistent thematic tone.  In fact, if you are having trouble coming up with plans for an event, you can look at a carnival as a ready-made theme, since it informs the food you serve your guests, the games and activities you offer, and even the layout of the event.  And since those games and foods are affordable, you get to save money while you are hosting your event.

Start out by choosing the games you want to include.  Sports games like electronic basketball, baseball toss, quarterback toss, kick & score soccer, and slap shot hockey are all good fun, as are games like splash down, dunk tank, high striker, foosball and miniature golf.  More fun contests include raffles, bingo, and wheel of fortune, bean bag, bank shot, five pin bowling, and rocker ball.  There are literally dozens of different carnival games you can choose from.  Which games were your favorites when you were a kid (or the last time you attended a carnival)?  You will need to do some additional planning when you set up these gaming events, deciding on fees if applicable as well as prizes for the winners.

You also will want to select food to serve at the event.  You can rent appliances for carnival food as well, like cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, pretzels, and hot dogs.  These machines are easy to set up and take down, and you can learn to use them in a matter of minutes.  They require a power source, so make sure you have electrical outlets to use which can take the right amount of amps, and figure out the layout for your power grid.  If you need a generator, you can rent that as well.  Generators are great for outdoor carnivals since they allow you to have a power source no matter where you are located, even if you are a long way from any other power outlet.

Once you have decided on your games and food, you will have a better idea what you need in terms of booths and canopies.  Sit down and make a list of all the games and events you have planned, as well as food stations and anything else you can think of that needs to fit into the venue.  Then try making a map, marking down the stations.  Once you know the layout, you will be able to figure out how many booths you need for food and games.  You can also use tents for eating areas, performances, and other games and events.

How many people will be attending your event?  Remember that your guests will get tired now and again and want somewhere to sit down, especially if you are serving hot dogs or meals.  Chairs are also useful if there will be performances.  Take a count of how many guests will be in attendance and make sure you get enough chairs and tables for everyone, given the events you have planned.

Planning a carnival is a lot of work, but the wonderful thing about it is that your event fits into a tradition, which makes it easy to figure out everything you need.  Think back to the carnivals you have attended, and you will come up with plenty of great ideas for planning your own.  And since carnivals are so well loved, your event is sure to go over well with your guests and be a great success.