Whether you are involved in the planning of a school or village fete, or small community summer fair, the preparation process will be fairly similar. You’ll need to plan, fundraise and advertise. Whether you’re fundraising for your local school’s reading books or the village playground, here is some advice on how to plan the best summer fair.

Planning the Best Summer Fair

You will need to start off by choosing your committee or team members. Naturally many people may want to get involved and help out, but if you have a choice, opt for team members that are going to be reliable and make all of your jobs easier. You must be prepared to multi-task and take on a number of different job roles. Once you have established your committee, you can start the planning process.


Your first step should be to all agree on the date of the event. Do some research to make sure that it doesn’t clash with any other local or national events going on at the same time. When this has been agreed, you can then think about the attractions. Here is a list of successful summer fair ideas that you can use to help draw people to your event.

1. Raffle

To ensure your raffle is successful, you need to go to some lengths to find amazing prizes. People will only buy your raffle tickets if they think there is something worth winning. Ask around your local shops (hairdressers, pubs, cafes, garden centres) to see if anyone will donate a generous gift. You can have your raffle tickets personalised to advertise the available prizes. You will then need to spend some time selling the tickets. Go round door to door and see if the local community will purchase tickets for a good cause. You can also ask local businesses and schools to help you sell them in return for some advertisement.

2. Bouncy Castle

You can’t have a family summer fair without the presence of a few bouncy castles. They’re a great attraction; providing the perfect entertainment for children of all ages. Bouncy castle hire companies will often only give you a donation, proportionate to the amount they make that day. So it is worth your while to attract as many visitors as possible.

3. Refreshments

If you have decided not to ask for entry fees, then catering for an unknown amount of people is tricky. BBQ’s, cream teas and Pimms tents are the traditional methods of feeding and providing refreshments to lots of people at summer fetes. You can ask for locals to provide cake donations. It is also worth asking your local butcher to see if they will help donate some burgers and sausages. All of the contributions you receive will help to increase the profit you make.

If on the day, you realise you have massively over-catered, you can always halfway through the day reduce the cost of the BBQ food to help it sell. Cans or bottles of drink can be stored for future events, or again sold at a reduced price. It is important, however, to ensure that you do provide refreshments, especially if your event will be running during the middle of the day.

4. Face Painting

Face painting is another traditional attraction that children (and some adults) love. You can also incorporate temporary tattoos and nail painting to attract the older children. Hiring a professional face painter will be an unnecessary expense. Instead, try asking for a volunteer who doesn’t mind helping out for the afternoon.

5. Digital Graffiti Wall

This is a great way of getting children and adults involved and becoming creative together. It is also another great attraction to advertise about. Initially, this may be more expensive than some of the other attractions, however, having a digital graffiti wall at your summer fair will add interest and draw more people to your event. This attraction will also stand out to people and draw people back next year.

6. Book Stall

Secondhand bookstalls are great because it can be made entirely of donations. It may be a 100% profit making stall if you can find enough donated books to sell. Make sure to advertise and let people know that they can give you their unwanted books, CD’s and DVDs. If there are any books left over, you can then go and donate them to local charity shops. It is an easy way for people to have a clear out of their old books and DVDs.

butterfly face paint


You must check to make sure that your insurance policy covers the fair and all of the activities and attractions. You will needs licence to sell raffle tickets and serve alcohol on the day. If you have organised live music, then you will also need a licence.

Assign at least one person to perform a risk assessment of the premises and the individual attractions. You must also make sure to at least one trained first aider on site.


In order to attract as many people as possible to your event, you are going to need to market it as effectively as possible. The most effective methods will be to distribute leaflets around your local village/town, advertise in the weekly newsletter and send out emails.

Another successful way of reaching a larger audience is to now advertise on Facebook. You can create a public event, containing all of the relevant information, and invite people to it. You can also conduct more traditional methods of advertising; putting posters up on notice boards and in shop windows.

The more advertising you do, the more people you can hopefully expect to attend your event. Remember, however, to start doing this as early as possible so that people are aware of it and know not to double book.


Overall, here is some helpful guidance that you may not have considered the importance of when organising a summer fair. It can be stressful, yet if executed successfully, gratifying task. Make sure to think outside of the box when it comes to hiring attractions and spend time asking around for donations from local businesses. A lot of people can be extremely generous if they are aware you’re fundraising for a worthy cause.