Whether it’s welcome week or a school fundraiser, throwing a school carnival is the best way to create a sense of community and school spirit to engage students, faculty, and parents alike. To throw the ultimate school carnival that will be remembered for years to come, follow these tips and have your event become the talk of the town.
Choose A Great Theme
Selecting a theme for your festivities will help determine what kind of food, games, rides, and entertainment you’ll need. You can be a carnival purist and keep things classic with a circus theme or switch it up with some other fun options like a sports, beach, or Hollywood themed event.
A sports themed carnival can be a great tie-in to the Rio Olympics (American flag onesies, anyone?) and can be an easy theme to dress for, as students can wear jerseys from their favorite teams or show a little school spirit. With so many carnival games that can be sports centric as well, like archery, basketball, and a football toss, this can be an uncomplicated and effortless theme to incorporate into your school carnival.
If you’re looking to glam up your event a little bit then implement a Hollywood theme, complete with a red carpet entrance, a paparazzi photo booth, and a celebrity lookalike contest. Choosing your theme first means you’re one step closer to throwing a school carnival almost as amazing as the one at the end of the movie Grease.
A carnival is only as good as it’s finest funnel cake so you’ll want to make sure the food at your event is super awesome. Food, after all, is what will tie in your event to make it a communal experience. So what’s the best and easiest way to make sure hungry carnival attendees have the most delicious eats to choose from? Of course, we here at Roaming Hunger recommend booking a food truck. It’s a hassle-free, no clean-up food option that will satisfy everyone from elementary school students to college seniors. Younger kids will love a truck like the Gypsy Wagon that offers a lower serving window while all ages can agree on a mutual love of cotton candy and freshly popped kettle corn. Regardless of what food truck you end up choosing for your carnival festivities, you can’t go wrong by supporting small, local business owners that make incredibly good grub.
Deliver Engaging Entertainment
Get people talking about your school carnival by providing some exciting entertainment that will help boost attendance and generate buzz. Carnivals geared toward younger kids might consider a petting zoo or a talent show to encourage student participation while college students will look forward to a live performance by a DJ or well known local talent. Having live performances scattered throughout the day with a larger performance at night will keep students entertained throughout the entirety of the carnival and gives people something to look forward to as things wind down later on.
Offer Awesome Rides
Your school carnival rides might not be at this level of insane (which is probably for the best) but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a little excitement in your ride selection. If you’re looking for legit thrill rides, complete with names like Ghoul City, Cliff Hanger, and the Gravitron, check out Amusements of America for help in bringing these attractions to your carnival. For moon bounces, obstacle courses, giant slides, and even a mobile zipline, Fantasy World Entertainment has all the amusement rentals needed for a classic school carnival experience. If the Dixie Whirly Bird or Mind Winder isn’t for you, keep it classic with a ferris wheel, a must-have at any self-respecting carnival.
In short, the best school carnivals (and events in general) have exciting things to do but also really, really good food. Nothing says your celebration was a hit more than people still buzzing about that lobster roll or BBQ brisket sandwich weeks later. Choose your theme, have some games, get a ferris wheel, and most importantly, book a food truck.