Make your next fete, outdoor festival, an exciting success with a little friendly competition. Fete competitions can help spark interest in your event and stoke enthusiasm in would-be competitors. Your fete competitions can be serious or funny, as long as they engage both competitors and spectators.
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Set up a basketball hoop and have participants play "HORSE" or "Around the World." Hold 100-meter dash heats for every age group from kids to seniors. Dig a pit, get a long rope, find two teams and hold a Tug-o'-War. Have a Wiffle ball tournament or set up a volleyball net, drape dark sheets over it and have teams play blind volleyball. Set up a hole and a flag and have a putting competition from various distances.
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Food and Drink
Set up several long tables and hold a chilli cookoff. Entrants serve their chilli and tasters rate entries to determine the winner. Or, hold a bakeoff. Set up a half dozen gas ovens on your premises and have entrants bake a cake at the fete. Rate entrants for time, creativity, presentation and overall skill. You could also have a beer- or soda-chugging competition, or an eating contest. Or let home brewers enter a Best Beer or Best Wine competition.
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Arts and Crafts
Ask local celebrities and creative "experts" to serve as judges for any of the following contests. Recruit volunteers to be models, set up blank canvases, provide paint supplies and hold a painting competition. Or, purchase plain white T-shirts and have a T-shirt-decorating competition. You could also set up a "county fair" area where participants can display cross-stitch, knitted clothing, stained glass or hand-sewn tapestries to be entered into a competition. Or, have a body-painting competition. The "bodies" wear swimsuits while their teammates use them as a canvas. The most creative design wins.
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Set up a stage area at your fete and hold dramatic competitions. For example, tell participants to form teams and hold an improv competition. Devise different cues for each team and set a brief time period for each performance. Or, you could arrange a "game show" setting and have teams participate in "Family Feud." If there are a lot of couples, consider playing "The Newlywed Game"; to give the singles a laugh, try "The Dating Game."