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Ten top attractions for your spring/summer fair

Having a headline attraction at your summer fair is a great way to pull in the crowds, and there are myriad weird and wonderful ideas out there - here are a few of our favourites...

They might come with a hefty upfront fee, and not all of them will be your biggest moneymakers, but having an attraction that will draw in the crowds and create a buzz of excitement about your fair will benefit you and your profit! Make sure it stands out on your publicity materials, whether printed or online.

  1. Adventure activities

    Zorbing, climbing walls, Spider Mountain, mobile zip wires - these attractions will certainly draw in the crowds. Find out how many people can take part over the course of the event and set prices accordingly. Use these attractions to entice people to your event, but don't expect them to make lots of money. Sell tickets and time slots beforehand.

  2. Fairground rides

    External fairground rides will be a firm favourite for children. Choose which rides you think will best suit the majority of your attendees. Are they younger children? Would a teacup ride work well? Or a more daring ride for adults? Decide whether you will pay for hire and take the fees, charge a pitch fee, or agree a percentage of takings.

  3. Inflatables

    Some suppliers will run this on the day, but otherwise ask volunteers to supervise to make sure everyone is using the inflatables safely. Inflatables can mean anything - from bouncy castles to the younger ones, to larger, It's a Knockout themed inflatables, too.

  4. Falconry

    Taking the interest of both adults and children, a falconry display will provide you with a well-presented and spectacular show, offering something a bit different to your community. Marnie Fewtrell, PTA Chair, Berry Hill Primary told us: 'We paid a local bird of prey company £150 for a half-day display. We charged £1 to hold a bird and the children loved it! The birds were beautiful and the chap handling them was full of amazing information which everyone loved!'

  5. Pet show

    Approach a local pet shop who might be willing to bring some animals along, as well as asking supporters and members of the community to bring in their pets for a show. Judge them on categories such as 'waggiest tail' or 'brightest eyes'. Run a photo competition for those who don't have pets. Read advice from the RSCPA on running a pet show.

  6. Pony rides

    Pony rides are a fun experience for children, even if they don't turn a huge profit. Check to make sure your insurance covers you for this sort of attraction, unless you are using a commerical third party supplier such as your local riding centre, for example, in which case they must have their own public liability insurance - be sure to check this with them.

  7. Photo booth

    Photo booths can be customised with a variety of themes to suit your audience. Julie Hartell, Co-Chair, Friends of Beacon Rise: 'We had a jailhouse photo booth at our Wild West fair, which was run by a local photographer free of charge. We charged £1.50 per person and raised £70.' Record people's details with image numbers, then upload them to a digital print website for collection from a local outlet, or delivery by post.

  8. Outside performers

    A designated performance area will give your event a focal point and allow local clubs (karate, Zumba, street dance, etc.) to showcase their talents to families in your community.

  9. Circus

    Don't panic about the initial outlay of hiring a circus - you will easily make your money back, and have a great time, too! Sell tickets in advance and start your publicity drive as soon as you can. 

  10. People in stocks

    Enlist key people in your organisation to get a soaking in honour of your cause! Laura Golding, PTA Chair, Haydonleigh Primary: 'We bought some stocks for our fair (£54.99 on eBay) which went down a treat, easily covering our investment in one event! We charged £1 for three throws of the sponge (2-3 metres away). Anyone could go in the stocks, but we only had teachers step up for this! We raised over £400.' Editor's tip: assuming teachers agree, take bids beforehand where certain targets have to be reached before the victims will venture into the stocks, i.e. £50 for head of KS1, £75 for head of KS2, £100 for the Head!

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