Are you thinking about planning on a fall festival? It’s that time of year again! Fall is rushing in and with it comes some of the best family friendly holidays and events. In between school starting and the holidays, a fall festival is a great way to provide fun for the community. But what does it take to put on a successful fall festival? What do I need to plan for to make it great? Well, that’s what this article is all about.
Here are the things you need to know to host the ultimate fall festival.
Even though the basic premise of a Fall Festival is to gather together and have fun, you should define your specific objectives for the event. Is it a fundraiser where you charge for entrance or individual games? Is it a free event open to everyone? Is it ministry-centered, or just a public event to have fun? It’s best to work with a team of leaders and volunteers to decide exactly why you want a fall festival in the first place. Define your goals and build your event around them.
Once your event goals are in place, get creative with your team to develop a specific theme. It can be simple or elaborate, but must be exciting and inviting for families with kids. Build your games, decorations and food around your theme. You can also encourage costumes to match your theme. Decide the age group the event is targeting and make sure each game and attraction is appealing to them. Create signs and banners for each booth that match your theme.
Obviously, before you announce a fall festival you need to decide when and where it will be. Make sure you plan on plenty of space for each activity and a place for food. Are you renting a space or do you have access to a free location that fits? Plan for fluctuations in attendance, just in case a lot more people show up than expected. If you plan on holding the event outdoors, make sure you have a Plan B location ready.
Running a Fall Festival can be a daunting task. There are many different games and booths that need to be set up, food that will be served, advertising displayed, and many other details. Set a point person in charge of the event, preferably an event planner. Whoever it is needs to have strong social, organizational, and leadership skills. Your event planner then needs to create teams of people to run each aspect of the event: games, food, hospitality, etc. If you include families in the planning, it usually results in a higher attendance once the event happens.
Volunteers make or break your event. The larger your event will be, the more volunteers you need. Recruit parents, teachers, friends, and family to help run the event. You can also ask members of your church and even bring teen volunteers from your youth group or local schools. Each year you hold the fall festival, recruiting gets easier. Create sign up sheets that are easy to access for anyone – like online. Make sure you specify on your sign-up forms which activities they are volunteering for. If you can, display a permanent sign asking for volunteers leading up to your event.
This is where creativity shines. You can purchase carnival games from a supplier, but your event will stand out if you take time to create the games and booths yourself. With your team of leaders and volunteers, brainstorm ideas and build them. If the volunteers are involved in the creation of each activity, they will be even more enthusiastic to run it. Create a custom sign for each booth with the name of the activity and a nod to the theme. These signs will make each booth more attractive and inviting.
Sometimes food can come as an afterthought or a last-minute decision. However, the food at your fall festival can really make it stand out. While many people come for the fun and entertainment, there are also plenty of attendees who are looking forward to the food. Aside from a main food like hot dogs or hamburgers, include festival foods like popcorn, pretzels, cotton candy, shaved ice, nachos, and candy. Hot drinks such as hot apple cider and hot chocolate are excellent choices for autumn events as well.
How do you plan on letting people know about your event? With the right advertising ahead of time, you can fill up your fall festival. Create custom signs to put up around town (with permission!) or at your local church. If you have the budget, put ads in your local newspaper and run ads on social media. Set up a simple web page with details of your event and point people to it. Make sure you plan your advertising ahead of time and give people plenty of time to commit to your event.
With the right planning, your fall festival can be amazing. Good luck!