Fall Carnival themed 1st birthday party. Focusing on Carnival Favs, without the three ring circus. More similar to your community Fall Carnival.
This party was for my son's 1st birthday. We started with the theme. Fall Carnival inspiration, trying to stay away from the typical three ring circus, carnival theme. I wanted it to be more like your local community Fall Carnival. Colors: Red, White and Orange. Decor: Started with the invites. I used the crituct cartridge 'Carousel'. Cut out the pennants and the ticket. Downloaded the circus font from dafont.com (free font downloads). I used the same font throughout decor of our party banner and tags. I used an actual Popcorn bag as the envelope- using the blank white back side to address the envelope/stamp. No extra postage required. The banners I made using my critcut machiene, cartridge 'Celebrations', however, you can find some really cute and similar ones on Etsy if you don't have a machiene of your own. I lined the front yard walkway with pumpkins and coordinating balloons. In the back yard where the party was, I strung red/white pennants which I purchased on the internet, centerpieces I used plastic popcorn containers with shiny red tissue paper out of the center with the coordinating balloons in groups of 3 from each of them. I rented hay stacks from our local feed store to set around. I went there with the intention of buying them, and they told me I could rent them. Food: Mini hamburger sliders; Corndogs; Individual Chip Bags; Jumbo pickles; and Nacho Bar. Water and Soda cans to drink. Treat table: Cookies (made by a friend- although you can buy from Etsy or local bakeries); Kettle corn (purchased the morning of from our local farmers market- so it was nice and fresh- although if you don't have access to similar, you can buy prebagged kettle corn which is also yummy!); Candy apples (I made those the night before- Carmel, Carmel/Heath, And Cookies/Cream); Licorice; Gumballs (red/orange); Cotton Candy; and Pinwheels (those I picked up throughout the summer). Making sure to add tags for each item. Desert: Cupcakes - smores decorated. Cupcake toppers and wrappers cutout from critcut cartridge. With a smash cake for son, making a small pennant 'ONE' topper. Entertainment: We had a balloon maker for one hour and then she did face painting for one hour. I also set up our own little mini pumpkin patch- purchasing the small pumpkins from local farmers market and bought foam pumpkin decorating kids from dollar store for a pumpkin decorating table- which was the children's take home Thank You for coming gift.
My favorite item was the treat table and the pumpkin decorating table. Later in the afternoon after all of the kiddos were done decorating, the adults joined in the action.
Pick your theme, and try to stick to it. Make sure to shop around on the internet and dollar stores or local markets ahead of time. Usually you can keep the costs down by using coupons and buying throughout a few months before.