Food, fun and games — what could be a better way to raise money for a good cause? A charity carnival can be the focal point of your community, bringing in lots of donors and publicity for your charity or group.

Organizing a Charity Carnival

Here’s a checklist of the things you’ll need to run a carnival:

  • Permits – Your local government office can apprise you of the forms you’ll need to fill out. Most carnivals will need safety inspection certificates, health certificates for the food vendors, and a liquor license if you plan to sell alcohol.
  • Rides – Specialty companies rent out carnival rides and provide much-needed assistance in building, running and maintaining everything.
  • Food – You can sell food yourself, or work with local vendors and businesses to run several different food stalls.
  • Games – As with rides, you can rent game booths from carnival companies. Alternatively, set up game booths yourself. Games like balloon darts, baseball toss, bowling, guessing games and horseshoes can be created with items you probably already own.
  • Activities – More booths mean more fun! Facepainting, petting zoos and pony rides are popular carnival attractions that will keep your younger guests entertained.
  • Entertainment – Magicians, jugglers, clowns, singers, dancers… get some of your talented friends to contribute their time to your worthy cause.

Remember that your carnival can be set up any way you like, such as with a theme based on your charity. If your budget is small, consider renting a few smaller rides and filling out the event with cheaper attractions like entertainers, games and food.