Carnival Party

Mollyrama Carnival 4yr - Popcorn Box Invites




John in Longwood, FL  USA


October 2004


Honorable Mention

I like to go over the top!  My daughter Molly turned 4 and we had quite a carnival! 

I started out by making the invitations to "Mollyrama" with 4 x 6 cards I made on my computer.  They had the requisite rhymes and color themes and graphics, then I hand cut "popcorn" out of yellow posterboard and glued it to the back.  I then made popcorn boxes out of red and white posterboard and slid the invitations inside so only the popcorn part was showing.  Next I made "tickets" on the computer that matched the color/theme/graphic of the invitation and slid them in the popcorn box.  Finally I printed the outside of the envelopes with the Mollyrama logo and mathing color/themes I made 52 invitations and I figure each one took about 20 minutes each! It was worth it. 

The party consisted of 5 booths, all made out of pvc tubing and the bottoms were skirted with red and white striped fabric I bought on ebay.

The games in the booths were; 1. Clunk a Punk - 3 handmade wooden carnival punks (the kind with the troll hair) that the kids threw bean bags at to knock over.  They were attached to a base with a hinge so they flipped back up easily. 

2. Pluck a Duck - Common game with floating ducks in a big galvanized tub with a number on each one that corresponds with a prize level. 

3. Clown Toss - this was a 4 foot tall clown that I made out of plywood and painted with enamel to give it a lot of color and shine. 

4. Ring Toss - I made this out of oak and three different diameters of dowel, each with a different color painted on the top.  There were 24 total dowels and the kids tossed 4 inch rings onto them. 

5. this booth was used for the face painting and tatoos - big hit! 

Next, and this is where it really starts to get crazy, I hand built a "high striker", some people refer to these as a strong man.  I bought a old school bell and built a track and a fulcrum and a big wooden mallet. After a few weekends and a prototype, I had a working, durable, high striker.  The boys LOVED this thing and I had big inflatable mallets as the first prize.  I cut out and painted a photo op out of plywood that had a muscle guy and bikini girl on his arm and the kids could stand behind it and rest their chins so their head showed. 

I have a tractor/mower that I built a big drum shaped cover for the hood, installed some stove pipe and skirted with black material and we had a train!  It has a trailer that I built a top for and we had a caboose!  The caboose was also made out of wood and painted red and black and carpeted on the inside.  I built a train station, complete with Mollyville Station sign, and had a buddy wear a pair of jean overalls and a engineer hat.  That was probably the thing that Molly like best, It was an actual ride!! 

We also rented a big bounce house that had a slide and a tunnel and put it right in the middle. 

Finally, the biggest build portion of all.  I started almost 2 months in advance of the party building a full size concession stand.  It is completely modular so it somes apart in about 5 minutes but is very strong and heavy. -it even lights up! 

The list of food I served was  -corn dogs, hot dogs, sno kones, cotton candy, candy apples, carmel apples, funnel cakes, nachos and cheese, popcorn, sausage and peppers, french fries, onion rings and a host of beverages including a keg of beer for the dads.  The whole thing took place in my front yard which is a circular driveway.  The bounce house was in the middle and the booths were on the outside perimeter.  Multi colored pennants were hung from the bounce house to the booths so when you walked down the driveway, it was like walking down a midway.  I spent about $250 on prizes ( we still have a lot left over). 

The neighbors lent us a huge tent that we put folding tables and chairs under for the adults.  The popcorn box was another thing I built.  The rental companies get like $150 for the day, I built one out of aluminum l brakets, scap wood and $12 worth of glass.  I bought a case of microwave popcorn and just filled it up.   

This Party was a huge success albeit alot of work!  In the end I spent close to $1500 in food, food service stuff, prizes, building materials and the bounce house rental.  Not to mention over 2 months of building.   I had a lot of help the day of as the older kids ran the booths and two other buddies helped out in the concesssion stand.  The good news is next year will be alot easier!

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