Florida offers great fall weather, making it the perfect place to hold a fall festival. If you’re planning to hold a fall festival in Florida for your school, church, office or nonprofit organization, it’s good to start with a framework for how you plan to get it done.
A fall festival is a great way to fundraise for an important cause, as well as a fun way to bring people together to enjoy games, food and rides. It’s a big task to pull off a successful one, but starting early with planning will set you on the right path.
A good place to start is to answer these questions.
What’s the Goal of the Festival?
Are you putting together a festival for entertainment purposes only or do you want to fundraise? If you want to raise funds, set a reasonable goal and then focus on what you need to do to meet that goal.
What Is the Festival Budget?
Setting a budget and sticking to it is a good plan for every event, fall festivals included. Come up with a budget that will cover your costs – and then add at least 10% more. Everything always costs more than you expect it will cost. This is also the time to decide on a theme for your festival if you intend to have one. The theme you decide on will have an impact on your budget.
Who Will Be On Your Management Team?
This might be the most important step. Months in advance, it’s important to put together a group of people who will each head up an area of the festival. It’s important to have people in charge of inviting people, games and entertainment, decorations, food, parking, collecting entry fees and managing tickets. It’s helpful to set up routine meetings, either in-person or virtually. Now also is the time to decide whether you want to consult with professional party planners.
What’s The Location for the Event?
This is another area the main organizer might want to appoint someone to focus on. With a fall festival in Florida, it’s reasonable to count on decent weather, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a backup plan. The best approach is to pick an outdoor location and an indoor location, or have a backup date if the first one is rained out. Issues to keep in mind when choosing a location include having the space to comfortably accommodate your expected number of guests, adequate parking and room for your planned entertainment.
Do You Have Entertainment for the Kids?
When choosing entertainment, think about the kids, first. Keeping them happy not only is good for them, but good for every parent who attends the festival. Face-painting stations, carnival games and bounce houses work well in keeping kids entertained for hours. Don’t forget fall classics such as bobbing for apples and pumpkin carving (supervised by adults!).
Do You Have Entertainment for Teens and Adults?
For teens and adults, plan to have larger entertainment options. That can include water slides, obstacle courses and thrill rides. Teens and adults love playing games, too, so consider adding somewhat more difficult carnival-style games.
What Kind of Food Will You Serve?
Food is one of the more difficult aspects of a fall festival in Florida. One way to address the issue is asking local venders for the chance to operate at the festival. Another is hiring caterers who have the ability to work a food tent at the festival. To add a special touch, you can also rent machines that make carnival-type food, such as popcorn and cotton candy.
Answering these questions can set you up to putting together a successful fall festival in Florida. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Sunshine State, the fall offers a great time to take advantage of the great weather and bring people together for your special event!