I have gotten involved in starting a local festival and would like to get input from anyone about what you think we could and should do. Things you like and what you don't like. Please be honest, as that will help the most. This is our first year, so we are trying to keep some things simple. And, I am trying to find ways to keep local businesses involved, instead of going to the big box stores. I think that is important, but need to sell some people on that a little more. I think this is a great start.
We do not have a pumpkin patch near us, at least within 25 minutes so we are selling Pumpkins to our community. We are having games for the kids. Trying to get the FFA involved to bring in animals for a petting zoo area, which I think is a big draw for kids what do you think. We would ask if we could use dixie cups and feed to feed the animals, less mess. Keeping it simple with small animals. We will have childrens games, but need ideas for prizes. A Little Miss pageant. A Coloring Contest. A Pumpkin Painting station. Maybe a facepainter.
Food is hotdogs, chili, and Ham and Bean soup. With some baked goods and pies. I think we could add bags of chips. Soda, and cider. I would like to see another sandwich and want to suggest pulled pork. Any thoughts on this. I think we are mainly going after families and I know my kids are not eating chilli and soup. I have done this before, but I am not in charge of the food and the rules are different. Another group wants to do a fund raiser with a bake sale. That is fine with us too.
If you have any suggestions I would appreciate them.
just found this forum and would like to join in. I must lose weight. I'm haveing a hard time with my feet and legs hurting. I all so love food of any kind. If I see it I must eat it hungery or not. Thank you for being here to talk to.
Where I work one of our teachers has started a work out class after school I haven't join but you know what I'm going to on Monday. I'm even excited about weight lost since I read this post. Again Thanks to all
ohh.. you have so got to have a cake walk !! Have you ever done one? they are so much fun!!
joy of cakes.. I think you are looking for the chunky monkey posts!! ( i know because i am a chunky monkey too!!)
A Cake Walk would be a great idea!
I've got some festival experience (1991 Winner of the Mrs. Rose Festival Beauty Pagant (at the ripe old ate of 32, may I add! ), plus i was on a number of event committees and worked very close with the director(s) of the festival.
Service Clubs (Lions Club, Jaycees, Kiwanis) are great for doing food tents, such as pork sausage sandwiches, chicken, and plain 'ole hamburgers and hot dogs. Each usually has a specialty so invite them to participate. People go for the food so have plenty of it!
Churches and non-profits love the opportunity to make money AND spread the word about themselves in the hopes of attracting new members to the cause. My sister's church always has a booth at the local festival (that I am going to tomorrow) and they sell "Walking Tacos" ..... a bag of Frito's Corn Chips, sliced open on the side and then they add taco meat, cheese and lettuce.
Do you have a "big draw" event planned? This is THE big event that everyone will want to come to. Usually it's the opening day parade, or a band concert, etc. The hardest part about parades is getting the permits. But invite kids to decorate their bikes and ride in the parade. Any politicians running for office? Their volunteers would love to march in a parade with "Vote For My Guy" signs. Any old car enthusiasts who might want to show off their hobbies? Does your sheriff's dept have a Mounted Patrol? kids love seeing horses in a parade.
Is "Little Miss" a sanctioned title? If so, be careful using it. We called our 5 to 7 year old King and Queen the "Rose Festival Jr. King and Queen". They were judged on personality and we just refused to get into the pagentry of "queenism". Play clothes only! No Jon-Bonay (sorry, dont' know how to spell her name ).
Feel free to email me. I've probably got a ton more things I can share (but I'm at work at the hotel; it's 3:00 a.m.; and I really *DO* have to do some work right now. )
One thing about the facepainter -- for the last couple of years, on Canada Day, our town has had a children's area for about 2 hours in the afternoon where the kids do assorted games (e.g. shooting a ball into a net, bowling, ring toss, etc etc). Last year, they had 3 teenage girls doing facepainting. They had paint kits and books, and they were doing mostly whole face painting (e.g. spiderman was a whole red face with black webbing), although the kid could ask for just something on their cheek (e.g. butterflies). This was very popular BUT it took a long time per kid, so after the 2 hours were up, there were still 20 or 30 kids in line. One of the girls announced a couple of times that they were only doing 3 or 4 more kids, but either no one in the line heard her or else they ignored her assuming they would keep going as long as there were kids. When they finally stopped, there was a LOT of grumbling. I actually think two of the girls would have been happy to keep going until all the kids were done, but the third girl really looked like she'd rather be somewhere else. Anyway, my point on that is to either have them painting something quick or make it very clear when the face painting is done, maybe have an adult actually ready to intervene and cut the line off, or possibly have a set of face crayons or whatever available so parents can do it themselves if necessary.
Also, for the kids games, mostly young teenagers were manning the events, and they would give the kid a ticket after trying, then the kid could redeem their tickets for freezies. I was so ticked off that there were two dads going through and doing all the games, winning tickets, and then getting their kids to redeem them. Meanwhile, little 3 and 4 and 5 year old kids are standing in lines waiting for turns, and the freezies ran out before some kids could redeen their tickets. I think the adult in charge should either have told the dads to get out of the lines and let the little kids play, or else told the teenagers not to give ADULTS tickets. I was cheesed off. However, my husband said he knew those guys and they are arrogant jerks everywhere.
Anyway, some of the events we have on Canada Day: pancake breakfast (free, sponsored by the town), parade, grandstand (performances - singing, dancing), various concessions (and one church ALWAYS has a pie tent - yummy), children's area, strongman contest (started a few years ago by one guy in town and is apparently now a sanctioned strongman event in whatever organization controls that), beef on a bun supper put on by a service club in their hall, farm challenge, which is a hilarious team relay event, singing contest, fireworks. I think there is usually a tradeshow too somewhere, but my kids are little so we do just the kid stuff.
Check with your local 4H club for help as well. This can be found by calling your local agricultural extension agent. Good luck. We are having a face painting boothe at our Pumpkin Days celebration in Oct. You could also do a raffle of some kind if you were trying to raise money.
I think everything you've talked about sounds really fun! This is exactly the type of thing we love taking our children to (oldest is 6).
A concern for me with young ones is having a place to wash up, especially with the petting zoo area. I'd hope there was a hand washing station, or at least some hand sanitizer nearby to use.
oh yeah! port-a-potties or other restroom facility arrangements!
Tractor pulls for kids are always fun to watch. You'd have to have age groups.
Use those peddle Deeres with a trailer behind and load it with weights then the kids peddle off (one at a time) and whoever gets the furthest wins. I think the last one I saw had heats with the weights getting progressively heavier. It was really funny.
Prizes, can you get local shops and restaurants to donate things? Otherwise the dollar store or One Spot at (the bullseye store) is good. Check oriental trading company for ribbons and such.