by Aileen Pablo
The holiday season is upon us once again, and if you are organizing a holiday fair or other themed event, now would be the time to start planning and prepping. Whether you’re looking to raise funds for a specific cause or just encourage active community participation during this special time of year, the following tips will help you to make your event memorable.
Variety is the spice of life
Invite people to sell their own handmade crafts, like jewelry, pottery, hand carved figurines or knitted scarves and hats. Handmade items are always a good crowd-pleaser, and these types of stalls bring lots of variety to the fair.
Other great ideas of things to sell include Christmas wreaths and centerpieces, customized candles and pretty ornaments for the tree.
You may also want to set up a gift wrapping booth, where people can have their newly bought gifts and trinkets wrapped beautifully at a reasonable price. Make sure you have plenty of wrapping paper, ribbons and cards on hand, as these booths tend to be a big hit at holiday fairs.
Come up with activities for the kids
When organizing a holiday fair it’s important to remember that most parents will bring their kids along and turn it into a family outing, so it’s a good idea to come up with a few ways to keep kids entertained so that their parents can relax and do some shopping on their own as well.
Activities that are geared towards the season will be especially popular, so you should try to find ways to customize the usual kids’ games and attractions.
For example, face painters can focus on seasonal images like baubles, Christmas trees, reindeers and other glittery things. Games like “pin the tail on the donkey” can be customized to something like “pin the nose on Rudolph” and hiring a Santa Claus to listen to kids’ wishes is another sure winner.
You can also set up crafts booths for kids where their parents can leave them for an hour or so while they make their own greeting cards or decorate a candy cane which they can then take home.
Organizing a raffle or another type of prize draw is a great way to raise money and can also attract more visitors to your event.
It’s all about the food
Along with the various craft booths and themed activities for the kids, another important aspect of a successful holiday fair is the food.
Great ideas for snacks include things like candied apples, pretzels, roasted chestnuts as well as freshly baked cinnamon rolls, apple cakes and gingerbread men. It’s also a good idea to include a few stalls that sell heartier treats that people can warm up with on a cold frosty day.
Soups, sausages and meat pies are all hearty favorites at this time of year. When it comes to drinks you should think along the lines of things like hot chocolate and whipped cream, mulled wine and eggnog.
Set the mood
Since this time of year is all about the atmosphere, you will want to pay special attention to the décor and lighting of your holiday fair.
Make sure that all the booths have plenty of soft light in the way of Christmas lights and (artificial) candles, and you absolutely need to have at least one large Christmas tree set up in a central location.
Another great way to set the mood is to choose the right music. It shouldn’t be too loud or overbearing, but having soft carols or instrumental music playing in the background is as important as having the right lighting or organizing a good variety of stalls and activities.
You may even want to consider having live carolers at intervals throughout the day, as this can help to get people into the right frame of mind and encourage them to relax and take their time as they wander through the fair.