Welcome to the Carnival Amusements hints and ideas for the running of a successful Fete. Fetes are not only festive and fun occasions but also major fundraising events. Organising a Fete can be lots of fun and very rewarding as well as raising much needed funds for your school or local community group.
As parents, we've been involved with our own local primary school and high schools in co-ordinating and organising our Fetes and Family Fun events. We have been involved with School Fetes/Community Events through our amusement business for many years and have been able to see many successful and well organised events.
In the following pages we are happy to pass on as much information as we know, that may be of assistance to your Organising Committee. Should you have any ideas or information that may help other Schools or Community Groups with their event, please feel free to e-mail us and we will include it on this site.
Mike and Michelle Marinovich
Organising a Fete can take between 3 months to a year. The success of a Fete is an active and enthusiastic Committee who in turn encourage and inspire the school members or group to contribute. Regular meetings are important for planning, allocating tasks and reviewing the progress. It is also a good time to share any ideas and skills with the rest of the group.
- Start with a date. Make sure that other local events do not clash with the date you have chosen. As with all successful ventures, effective organisation will minimise problems and ensure a successful Fete. Refer to your previous Fete file for information.
- Each Stall should be allocated a Co-ordinator. Each Stall Co-ordinator should have a committee to assist in collecting or making the goods for sale and setting up and running the stall on the day. Do not expect one person to organise the entire stall. The Co-ordinator should also allocate times for the volunteers to assist with the running of the stall. It is best to have a list of all the stalls and rostered helpers arranged as early as possible. The Co-ordinator needs to monitor the stall throughout the event providing encouragement to the volunteers.
- Early bookings of Carnival Rides and Games (Carnival Amusements 9349-4400), entertainment/entertainers and venues is encouraged.
- Ensure that you have a good sound system with speakers placed in all areas so that announcements can be heard. The School sound system in our experience hasn't been enough and you may need to hire a system that meets your requirements. It is also a good idea to give someone the job of being MC for the event and informing people of the various stalls, times of the different entertainment and other activities around the fete grounds.
- Draw a map of the school grounds and plan out where each stall should be positioned. Try not to spread the Fete out too much as it will lose atmosphere, an essential ingredient with any event. Clearly mark each stall with prominent sign posting. Also hand out maps at the front gate detailing where the stalls are and what time the entertainment is scheduled.
- Send out flyers to all families, the local community and other local schools. The recipient of the flyer might be invited to write their name on the back of the flyer and put the ticket into a draw for a prize. They need to be present to receive their prize. Draw winner towards the end of the Fete. This encourages people to attend the Fete, you could also mention what they may win (e.g. $100.00)
- Actively promote the School Fete in the School Newsletter. Requests for donations and help. Promote school businesses who have offered to help. Fete information should be on different coloured paper and numbered.
- Publicity - Appoint a Publicity Officer to promote your event. Get the event announced on the radio, and inform the local newspaper. Local shopkeepers are usually willing to put up posters in their shop. Place signs on major road/intersections at least 2 weeks beforehand. Notify the parents at your school and at other local schools. Deliver leaflets around the neighbourhood.
- Organise a secure area for holding and counting money. It should be large enough for 3 - 4 people to work together. Access should be through a locked door. It is suggested that at least one accountant be involved in the counting. Make sure the people involved are reliable.
- Arrange with the bank for coin bags, money bags and even the possibility of a coin counting machine.
- Anyone collecting from the stalls should have a badge/coloured t-shirt that easily identifies them. Stall helpers should not hand over any money to anyone who doesn't have the correct identification.
- Floats should be collected by the Co-ordinator and taken to the stall they are in control of.
- When collecting cash, always check that each stall is left with enough change.
- Pricing should be done beforehand. Generally prices should be a little below the shop prices for a similar item. For special handmade and unique items price it for what its worth. Stallholders and helpers should not change prices at whim as this can lead to all sorts of problems. Towards the end of the Fete it may be decided to reduce pricing to encourage quick sales. This should be discussed with the Fete Co-Ordinator.
- When collecting clearly mark the bag/envelope/ice cream container with the stall name you are collecting from. Work in groups of 2 when collecting. Collect regularly.
No fair would be complete without a CRAFT STALL. Start planning your stall as early as possible. Even organise craft mornings involving school parents to make a host of different items. Organise a storage area for completed crafts. Pricing should reflect the cost and work gone into making an item, but still a little below retail prices. Label and price each item clearly. Decorating the stall is important. Baskets for small items are wonderful. Don't crowd the stall and keep extras in boxes under the counter. Go to other fetes and see what is selling well. Ideas for Crafts are Pot Pourrie Bags, Marble Bags, Plastic Bag Holders, Magnets, Crochet Kitchen Towel Holders, Scrunchies, Trimmed Bears, Juggling Balls, Library Bags, Sprouting Heads, Embroidered Towels, Coathangers, Heat Packs, Painted Candles, Painted Boxes. These are just a few, there are 1,000's of wonderful items.
Christmas/Easter Crafts are always very popular (depending on the time of year your fete is held). Popular ideas I've seen are bread dough ornaments, Christmas Stockings (all sizes), Christmas Wreaths, Mini puddings and home made chocolates.
Fairy Crafts never seem to fail. Decorate the stall with fairy lights. Popular items are Fairy Wands, Fairy Stones, Fairy Dust, Pencils with cherubs, Fairy Costumes. I've also seen glitter nail painting and face painting combined with this stall, which seemed to work very well.
- FOOD/ DEVONSHIRE TEAS/ GOURMET/ LOLLIES / CAKES STALLS
Food is always very popular at any fete. Set up stalls close to each other. Make sure you have suitable food warming facilities. Nobody likes cold food!!! Make sure each stall is well signposted so that people know what they are getting. Popular food items, Hamburgers, Chips, Italian food, Chinese food, Hot Beef rolls.
Devonshire teas are convenient, quick and easy. Everyone always works up an appetite walking around all the stalls. People like to have somewhere to sit and nothing is nicer than tea and scones on an afternoon fete day. Choose food which is simple to cook and eat. Undercater rather than overcater. If you do have food left at the end of the day sell it cheaply. Keep the stall clean and maintain good standard of hygiene when handling food. Use large banners to attract attention. Keep cold drinks in a portable cooler or fridge.
Gourmet food stall should offer a range of interesting produce.Marmalades, Jams, Herbed Oils and Vinegars, Pickles, Relishes and Sauces. Make sure all jars are sterilised beforehand. Organise a group of gourmet chefs giving them recipes and ingredients; instructions for bottling and packaging; where to store; and any tips that will help with making preserves. This stall looks great in a country theme (dark green fabric/calico). Lots of baskets with herbs etc. Cover tops of jars with floral or gingham fabrics. Label and price clearly.
Lolly stalls are a must and SO healthy! Baskets can be made out of the bottom of milk containers or 1.5ltr drink bottles. Lolly kebabs sell well also Fairy Floss, Toffee Apples.
Cakes stalls can be made up of Cakes, Slices and Biscuits. Its a traditional fete stall and has stood the test of time.
- BOOK/GAMES STALL
Ask people to donate books. Sell them for bargain prices. Bundle 5 books together with string and make sure the bundles have a theme - romance, sci-fi, westerns, kids etc. I've seen were a book stall was combined with a puzzle/games stalls and that seemed to go very well also.
A plant stall needs early planning to be a success. Include pot-pourri and herbs for variety. Flowering plants are very popular. Ask for donations of seeds, bulbs, potting mix and small pots. Try to have plants for sale at eye level. Don't crowd them. 2 weeks before, have a meeting to arrange transport of plants, signs, naming of plants, labels and pricing.
- WHITE ELEPHANT
I've seen lots of White Elephant stalls, sometimes they go well, sometimes not. You do get a lot of junk donated which involves a lot of sorting out beforehand. However if you have a good committee, this stall can be an absolute hit. Everything is donated so it can be a very good fundraiser.
- Basketball Shooting
- Hole-in-One Golf
- Knockem Stalls
- Haunted House
- Helium Balloons and Lucky Dips
- Auction and Raffles
- Badge Making
- Dunking Machine
- Drink Can Floppo
- Carnival Rides and Games - Carnival Amusements Ph 9349 4400
- Pony/Camel/Donkey rides
- Fire Brigade Display and rides
- Police to bring in pursuit car/bike
- State Emergency Service to set up display
- Sporting Personalities
- Farm Animal Display
- A range of entertainment during the fete is always a good idea. Approach local groups, eg, dancing, callisthenics, karate, school choir etc.
The above information are only suggestions. You are welcome to change them in any way to suit your fetes needs. Carnival Amusements does not accept responsibility for any ideas used.
Wishing you a rewarding and successful fete.