A really fun Halloween fundraising event
This is a really great idea for a fundraising event but you do need to make your plans a few months in advance. The basic idea is really simple - a whole afternoon of fundraising fun based around pumpkins.
This is the main competition of the day and really the whole point of the event.
In late April you issue a challenge:
Could you grow the Biggest Pumpkin?
You can issue this challenge via posters, flyers, local newspapers, newsletters, your email list or in person. Using every way you can, let people know that if they can grow a champion pumpkin, later in the year there is going to be a fun event where it can compete against all the others. One pumpkin grower to emerge as King of the Pumpkin Patch.
However you make your challenge it needs to really inspire people to take part and to make them realise that they need to get planting soon if they are going to grow a real whopper. Only you know how best to do this in your area. The important thing is to keep it all fun and capture people's imagination.
Here is an example of a Challenge to give you some ideas.
During the course of the year people grow their pumpkins.
In October you let them know the further details of your event and where they need to bring their pumpkins to take part. Again you want to really "big up" your event. As well as the pumpkin growers you also want other people to come along - have some fun and spend some money. You also need to let people know about the other competitions (see below) so even if they don't have a pumpkin they can take part.
Here is an example of a Challenge Reminder to give you some inspiration
Its usually best if people bring their pumpkins along in advance of the main event. Smaller pumpkins and decorated ones can go on tables or straw bales. You may also like to allow space on the floor for any real whoppers.
All entrants should pay a small fee to cover costs. Have some prepared cards for each entry for people to fill in stating who grew it.
You can judge the pumpkins by girth and / or by weight. If you do weight however you will need to arrange for a set of large scales.
You can work out who has won in advance or you can make weighing and measuring part of the afternoon's proceedings.
When the champion pumpkin has been decided you will want to make a big thing of it with a prize giving etc. You could present a trophy to the champion grower or put a crown on top of the champion pumpkin. Half the fun of Pumpkin Pandemonium is the fun and good-natured competition between growers. Make sure you make the most of it
You need to have a few other competitions running on the day and using the Halloween theme there are plenty of options.
Best Decorated Pumpkin
For this you can allow people to use shop bought pumpkins. Pumpkins could be traditionally carved, or dressed up and decorated in any other way. A fancy dress for the pumpkins as it were. Get people to give their creation a neat sounding name that sums up its "personality". As you can see from this cat example there are all sorts of things you can do beyond a traditional carving.
Spare change voting - Rather than appointing a judge why not put a bowl in front of every entry. People vote with their spare change for their favourites. All the change ends up in the kitty.
Children's Scariest Halloween Mask or Hat
This is a surefire way to get the kids and their parents busy with the card, material and scissors. Your only stipulation should be that all the entries are home-made. Have the entries laid out on a table or you may like to have a parade where all the children wear their creations.
Decorated Halloween Cake Competition
There are all sorts of ways you can do this depending on the nature of your event and who is likely to come along. It might be that you want to concentrate on larger creations. On the other hand a kids competition for "Four Scary Cupcakes On A Plate" works well too
There is lots of inspiration for all these competitions to be found on the internet. Pinterest too is brilliant for finding ideas. Check out our own Pinterest Halloween Boards-
Pumpkin Pandemonium is always intended as a bit of fun and a great way to raise the profile of your organisation in your local community. Don't forget to invite the local press along this event is tailor-made for pictures in the local papers.
You do want to make a little cash however. You can charge a modest entry fee to take part in any of the competitions. You then need to remember the mantra of all good fundraisers-
If you see a crowd sell them something!
There are all sorts of extras you can add in around you main event to make some money. Just try to give your fundraising extras a Halloween feel:
A great way to end your event is for a mass lighting of Jack o Lanterns.
Arrange all the carved pumpkins outside. You provide matches and tea-light candles and light them all up. You may wish to add in some decorated jam jar lanterns etc to hang in the trees.
So there you are, a great Halloween Fundraising Event that sure to be lots of fun and bring in the cash. And don't forget.....
This isn't Marrow Mayhem, it isn't Radish Rumpus, it isn't Turnip Turmoil