4 Tips to Have A Great Carnival

You have your dates and times all figured out, the theme has finally been decided on, and the location is all set for your schools festival/carnival.  All of the difficult decisions seem to be out of the way and now it is time to start planning for the fun and Hayes Specialties has just what you need.


Tickets are a vital part of any event; use them for games, redeem them for prizes, and use them for food.  Use at least two colors of tickets to differentiate between tickets used to play games and tickets won from games.  Make sure your booth operators know exactly what each color of ticket is for.

Having one or two ticket sales booths, depending on the size of your expected crowd, will cut down on the number of people handling cash during your event.  This will allow your volunteers to focus on making their game or booth fun for all and not worry about keeping the money secure.  A locking cash-box will also keep money secure.  Also, tickets can be sold individually or with discounts for purchasing a large quantity at once; for example 20 tickets for $15, if your single ticket prices are $1 a ticket.  All access wristbands for a set price are also an option but tend to not be as profitable.  Ticket sales booths should be located in easy to access areas that have plenty of room to form a line.  Hayes has an assortment of tickets and Tyvek wristbands that are perfect for any theme.


Star Tickets are just one of the many styles of roll tickets available.


Choose the Tyvek Wristband color that best matches your festival/carnival’s theme.











How many tickets each game will earn is something that should be determined before your festival/carnival so that everyone is on the same page.  Some things that should be considered when determining the amount of tickets that each game earns are; how difficult is the game and should tickets be earned for attempting the game?  Ticket values for redemption prizes will also play a role in determining how many tickets each game should earn.


Nothing is worse than going to a festival/carnival all excited for the games, prizes, and the food and having mediocre prizes.  This can be prevented with some forethought and planning.

Know what age group you are marketing your festival/carnival for; is it just for the elementary age, tweens and teens, or is it going to be fun for all ages?  Ask around to kids and parents what prizes they would be excited to see available; do they want to see more hats and plush animals or would they rather there be more small toys and trinkets?  Is there one big ticket item that they would put a lot of effort into winning?

Something else that organizers should decide on beforehand is; are prizes going to be given out at the games, or will tickets be won and turned in at redemption stations?  Instant gratification is great and demanded by younger kids.  It is something that can be satisfied with a small prize such as a Tootsie Roll or lollipop, as well as earning tickets for that prize they have their eye on at the redemption station.

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Having a variety of prizes based on value is important.  Organizers should also determine what value each prize is going to be before the event so that it can be posted and there is no confusion.  For younger children, the larger prize will hold more value for them due to its size than a smaller prize.  No matter the cost for either, size matters.  Older kids are usually more willing to save up their tickets to earn one of the high value prizes available.  Having enough prizes is also important; extra prizes can be stored for the following year, a later event, or  could be donated to a charity as well.  Hayes Specialties has a wide variety of prizes for all ages.  Stop by the website www.eHayes.com to check out all of the latest items.


Depending on your crowd, having the right games could make or break your event.  A successful festival/carnival will have a variety of games of varying skill levels so that everyone can be a winner.  Check out all of the great game rentals at www.eHayes.com.







A general rule of thumb is that the more games your festival/carnival has available, the more money you will make.  People like to have a variety of ways to win.  What one person finds fun and easy the next may consider boring or too difficult.  Also make sure to have games available for all age levels and abilities expected to attend the event.  Be sure to determine how many tickets it will cost to play the game and how many tickets will be won so that it can be posted.

Selfie Booths are great for all ages.  Tickets can be charged for varying lengths of time such as 1 ticket for 1 minute for each for each person entering the booth.  They can take all of the pictures they want in the amount of time chosen.  Selfie Booths are low maintenance money makers since the participants do all of the work and keep the pictures on their phones.

Parents who have small children and older children will appreciate a safe shaded area that is set aside for babies and young children to play, out of the way of the main festival/carnival.  Set up some chairs so that parents have a place to sit and they will tend to stay longer and spend more.

If your games require a power source make sure that there is one available, such as a generator if it is an outdoor festival/carnival.  Make sure there is someone designated, with an appropriate sized vehicle, to pick up and return the generators if they are being rented or borrowed.  Also make sure that there is enough extension cord available for all of the games or items that might need a power source.


The final thing a great festival/carnival needs is great food.  There are several things that need to be considered when planning to have food at your event; what regulations does that Health Department have for your area?  What type of food are you planning to serve?  How much profit are you hoping to make on concession sales?  What equipment will you have to obtain?  Health Department regulations can be obtained through your local city hall and can help you make further decisions on what type of concessions you plan to have.

When determining what type of concessions you plan to provide for your festival/carnival it is important to think of the season that it will be occurring in.  Sno Kones might not be the greatest choice for an event in the middle of winter, but popcorn and cotton candy are hits no matter what the season is.  Offering both snack foods and more substantial meal type items are a great way to keep people at your festival/carnival and spending money.  They won’t be thinking of leaving just because they are hungry for a proper meal.  Beverages should also be kept in mind when determining your concession items.  Make sure to have enough food and drink for your best case scenario with attendance plus 10%.

Knowing how much profit you want to make on concession items is important.  Do you plan to charge for concession items or will they be free?  If you are charging, will customers be paying with cash or tickets?  Offering combo options at a slightly discounted price will help promote sales.  Make sure to determine what the cost of each item is going to be before the event, taking into account the cost of the supplies and machine rental if necessary.

Just like with the games, make sure you have power sources available for your concession area if they are needed and extension cords as well.  Also, if you are renting machines, make sure there is someone who is available to pick up and return the machines and has an appropriate sized vehicle.  Hayes Specialties offers a wide variety of concession machines for rent and supplies to purchase.  Make sure to have all of the crowd favorites; funnel cakes, hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, and Sno Kones.







The last thing that your concession area needs is plenty of lined garbage cans with plenty of volunteers to keep them empty.  Don’t place them to close to your concession area, to prevent smell and bugs, or too far away from your concession area that garbage ends up on the ground.

Keeping these 4 things in mind will help you to have a great festival/carnival.

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