Create your own carnival at home with these easy carnival food ideas. You can enjoy all your favorite carnival foods at home.
When I came up with the idea for a Wedding Carnival my main goal was for everyone to have FUN! That meant the food had to be fun too.
Really, what isn’t fun about carnival food?? It may not be the most health conscious food but it is fun and that was the theme of the evening so we went for it.
My dear friend Patrice took charge of the food for me. It was such a gift and blessing not to have to worry about it. We got together and discussed the menu and then she took over!! Patrice is amazing in the kitchen and I knew everything would be perfect because she was in charge.
Carnival Food – Hot Dog Bar
Our Carnival menu of course had to include hot dogs.
But we didn’t just have regular old hot dogs though, we had gourmet hot dogs with an array of amazing toppings.
Hot Dog Toppings
- Pickle Relish
- Sweet Onion
- Caramelized Onion
- Bacon Bits
- Cheddar Cheese
- Chipotle Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Crumbled Fritos
- Crumbled Potato Chips
- Garlic Aoli
- Maple Cream Cheese
- Cabbage Apple Slaw
I have to say that the maple cream cheese and crushed up Frito were two of my favorites! The combinations possibilities were endless!!
The Hot Dog Bar was a huge hit at the carnival.
I found the fun little buckets for the condiments at Ikea. The squirt bottles and the plastic tongs came from Cash & Carry.
We also served:
- Mac & Cheese in individually serving cups.
- Pulled Pork Sliders with or without coleslaw.
- Curly Fries because it wouldn’t be a carnival without curly fries! We bought the curly fries from the local restaurant supply.
I bought some locker shelves to hold the paper cones of curly fries. The teal color worked perfect with my carnival color scheme.
Besides the main food area we also had several different food booths set up around the yard.
Carnival Food Booths – Lemonade Booth
We had four kinds of lemonade. Regular lemonade of course.
Pink lemonade, raspberry lemonade and strawberry lemonade…
People were able to help themselves from the beverage containers.
We decorated the straws with the bride and grooms names!
There was also a big metal barrel full of water bottles. I had purchased the metal containers at Home Depot and spray painted them red. I used my Cricut machine to cut out white vinyl stars which I added to the sides. All my chalkboard art was done by my amazingly talented friend Bill who also may just have designed the Nike tennis shoes you may be wearing right now! Talent runs in his family because his wife Darlene designed and made all the fabulous signs for the booths and the carnival entrance. Yes, I have very talented friends!!
I think the candy booth was my favorite with it’s light up sign. It looked even more amazing after the sun went down. I gathered a selection of bright colored and rainbow colored candy and filled a collection of jars I picked up at Goodwill.
I used the whirly lollipops in a lot of the decorating so of course there were some of them in the candy booth too.
Nothing is sweeter than love!
More amazing chalkboard art from our friend Bill.
Cotton Candy Booth
Of course a carnival has to have cotton candy. We rented the cotton candy machine from a party supply place here in Portland. All the carnival booths were built by my husband. He built them around a table and they are collapsible so we can store them.
Carnival Food – Popcorn Booth
We had regular popcorn and cheese popcorn that I purchased already popped. I made the caramel corn myself using my microwave caramel corn recipe.
I purchased different flavoring seasonings online that could be added to the plain popcorn from Kernel Seasons .
There were even directions so people knew what to do! I found the idea for the sign here.
Ice Cream Cart
I found an old cart on Craig’s List and painted it to look like an old fashioned ice cream cart.
I hired a neighbor boy to scoop ice cream all night for me!
We set up an ice cream bar with all the various toppings people could add to their ice cream if they liked. We had chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and mini M & M’s.
Carnival Food – Doughnut Cake
One of my favorite things from the carnival was the doughnut cake! I saw the idea on Pinterest and knew it was the perfect thing for our carnival. I didn’t want to do traditional wedding cake but wanted something to symbolize that. The doughnut cake was the perfect answer.
I built it out of cake plates I already owned and doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. I think Krispy Kreme must have heard about the Wedding Carnival because they even had cotton candy doughnuts just for me!! My favorite part of the whole thing was the darling cake topper my friend made for the cake.
All of this wonderfulness would not have been possible without the help of so many of my dear friends. They were even good sports and wore the red aprons and red and white stripe ties I had bought for the carnival workers.
Wedding Carnival and Decorations
Photography by Megan Elle Photography