How to Plan a Carnival-Themed Event on a Budget


Whether it is for a birthday or a fundraiser, one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to planning a party is choosing a theme, especially if you are on a tight budget. With a little creativity and planning, you can host a carnival party that will not only be a fun and memorable event but will also be an event that can be pulled off on a limited budget. One of the best things about hosting a carnival-themed party is that the event can be held in your backyard, and that will save you money on renting a party hall. From the invitations to the items you can rent through party-rental companies, here are a few ideas to help you throw a great carnival-themed event.


The invitations should look like tickets. To make the invitations by hand, all you will need is red construction paper, a black marker, envelopes, and stamps. If you are planning a fairly large event, such as a fundraiser, it may be easier to use a template on the computer. To make the invitations by hand:

  • Cut red construction paper into rectangle shapes (about the size of an index card).
  • Using a black marker, print the words "ADMIT ONE" on the front of the "ticket," and on the back of the ticket, provide the details of the event, including the time, date, place, and RSVP information.
  • Seal the invitations in an envelope and deliver.


Streamers, balloons, and banners in bright colors are the primary decorations you will need (and also make great take-home gifts for the guests). If you are using tents, such as over the food or as the main gathering area, give it a "big top" feeling by hanging alternating red and white streamers from the center point of the tent. Hang brightly colored plastic pennant banners throughout the party area to identify certain areas. For example, a banner can be used to identify the food area and the game area. Paint a large box white with red stripes and place it near the entrance to simulate a ticket booth.

Carnival Games

Create a game area that includes common carnival games, such as a ring toss, a fishing booth, and balloon darts. The prizes can include candies and small prizes that can be purchased inexpensively at local discount stores. Some ways to create inexpensive games may include the following.

  • A ring-toss game can be made with empty soda bottles and wooden or plastic rings.
  • To make a bean-bag toss, simply cut the toe end from several brightly colored socks, fill the sock with rice or dry beans, and sew the open end to close. Cut holes in a piece of cardboard and suspend from a tree or stand it up next to a post.
  • To make a fishing game, purchase a few small and inexpensive fish bowls and put a goldfish in each one. Guests can "win" a fish by tossing a ping-pong ball into the fish bowls.

Carnival Food

The best thing about a carnival is the food. Carnival foods often include soft pretzels, popcorn, hot dogs, and cotton candy. Most party-rental companies have these types of machines available for rent. If you are on a tight budget, consider renting only a few machines, such as the cotton-candy maker and a popcorn make,r and use a grill to make the main foods, such as the hot dogs. This will save you money but still allow you to have a few iconic machines, such as a popcorn cart that is typically found at carnivals.

When planning a carnival-themed event, you should start the planning at least one month in advance. This will allow you plenty of time for shopping, making the games and decorations, and ensuring delivery of items you have to order, such as the popcorn machine. Make sure to include an RSVP on the invitations so you will have a better idea of how many people to expect and the amount of time it will take for your guests to get through all of the activities.


12 January 2017

Planning a Fundraising Event

My father is an amazing man. He has pastored the same church in a tiny rural community for the past three decades. Whenever anyone in the community needed financial assistance, my dad has always been willing to help. Over the years, he’s planned several fundraising events that were huge successes. Do you need to plan a fundraising event in the near future? Consider hiring a professional event planner to help you accomplish this important task. An event planner can help you book a facility and select a caterer. On this blog, I hope you will discover the advantages of hiring an event planner to help you make an upcoming fundraiser successful.