Add more to your summer fair
Add to the appeal and spectacle of your summer fair by
tying other events into it. Set up a stage and music acts for your
own mini-festival, invite visitors to camp on the field overnight,
round the event off with a grand auction, or encourage young chefs
with a bake-off competition.
Ask local allotment societies, garden centres and plant
nurseries for donations. Always position your plant stall somewhere
sheltered. If you have the resources, make up some planters as
higher-priced items. Herbs always do well, but make sure everything
Unlike a raffle, which relies on pot luck, a silent auction
allows people to bid only on the prizes they want. By stating the
value of each prize, your supporters can gauge how much they're
prepared to pay, which is sure to be more than £1 for a raffle
ticket! Seek out experiences or services as prizes in order to
tempt supporters and encourage bidding wars.
Invite visitors to bring along their (well-behaved!) pets and
run a competition with different categories and prize rosettes.
Alternatively, ask a local pet shop or shelter to bring some
animals along. Charge for the animal encounters.
Have different age categories so everyone can take part,
including adults. Participants register before the fair, paying to
enter - let players know their time slot. Hold matches in a
cordoned-off area. Allow time for the winners of each round to play
for a chance to be in the final, while still having time to enjoy
the rest of the fair.
Case study: Baking bonanza!
'Last year we held a bake-off competition at our fair. We
promoted it through our Facebook page, and contestants brought
their creations to our "afternoon tea" marquee. As the cakes spent
a while on the judging table, some contestants created videos on
Facebook the day before to help with the judging in case the hot
weather affected their cakes.
The judging criteria was appearance, taste and how well the
cakes matched the fair's theme, "the great British summer". The
judges consisted of myself as chair, the deputy head and the fair's
compere. We offered trophies to the winners and runners-up in two
categories: adults and children. The competition was free to enter
but, as we sold the cakes afterwards, it was also a way of getting
free contributions for the afternoon tea marquee. We raised £3,517
across the whole of our summer fair.'
Tracy King, PFA Chair, Trinity CofE Methodist Primary
School, Chorley, Lancashire (520 pupils)
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