Fall carnival, fall festival, or harvest festival, whatever you call your autumn event they’re just around the corner; which means it’s time to start planning. If this is your first time volunteering with your PTA, PTO or Booster Club you’ll want to continue reading. Here are some simple steps that will ensure the planning goes on smoothly.
Organize fall carnival committees
The best way to stay organized is to first organize a few committees. We know you’re the super-parent of the century, but a committee is necessary to pull off an event like this. Four basic committees should cover the basis of your fall carnival: food, activities, announcement/volunteers, and logistics.
Ask for food and decoration donations
Not everything for your school carnival has to be bought by the Parent Teacher Group. Ask parents if they can donate food to your event. Hotdogs, hamburgers, buns, pies, chips, soda, water; make a list of what is allowed or will be accepted and send this list to parents, ask them to reply with what they can bring.
Ask local farmers, shops, or stores if they would be willing to donate a few pumpkins or hay bales for decoration. Parents may have fall decor they’d like to donate as well: scarecrows or autumn wreaths.
Announce when your fall carnival will take place
A successful event usually means that a lot of people showed up and attendees had a good time. Neither of which can happen if nobody knows about it! Have a committee that will focus on making and sending out flyers, emails, and reminders. If they have access to parent emails, this committee might also be in charge of signing up volunteers and reaching out to parents about food donations.
Ask for parent and student volunteers. Volunteers can help with game/activity setup, food preparation or distribution, and decorations. The more hands available the better! High schools often ask for students to finish a certain number of volunteer hours to graduate. Let them know that the work they do for the festival would count towards that.
Acquire insurance and necessary permits
Aside from the event itself, there are a couple of other crucial tasks to complete. Perhaps not as fun as setting up the fall carnival activities, but just as important: acquiring insurance and permits. Whether it’s for selling food or blocking off a street for a bounce house, make sure you comply with all your local and state law permit requirements. Speak with your district as well as other Parent Teacher Groups in your area that may be able to advise you on which permits you should look into.
No matter how many people you are expecting, your school carnival will need insurance. General Liability insurance is necessary when you plan an event. If someone is hurt or attempts to sue you, AIM will pay for the medical bills of the injured party or compensate for any judgments made against you in a lawsuit.
AIM Insurance covers more events and activities than any other provider. However, some activities pose a higher risk than others and we encourage your group to check out our Playlist of Covered & Excluded Events.
For Parent Teacher Groups or Booster Clubs that have just one or two events throughout the year, we offer Single Event Insurance as well. If you’d like to know more about Single Event Insurance check out our blog: Everything You Need to Know About Single Event Insurance.