Top items to sell at carnivals & festivals

carnival image by pearlguy from

Communities across the country hold carnivals and festivals throughout the year. For the small business owner or home crafter, these events can be lucrative income producers. Whether you have an item to sell, a service to provide or food concessions, the ideas are endless and some items are a sure bet.

Air-Brush Tattoos and Face Painting

Kids of all ages love to be part of the colour and festivities of an event. Temporary tattoos are a fun and easy service to provide. From superheroes to hearts, flowers and rainbows, you're sure to have a continuous line of patrons.

Face Painting, like tattoos, is another popular fixture at carnivals and festivals. With little more than a cache of face paint colours, your investment is minimal, and interest is high.

Novelties and Souvenirs

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People will spend £6 trying to win a £1.30 troll doll. Selling colourful novelty items or souvenirs at a set price might be a good alternative for those who don't win or don't want to chance wasting money. T-shirts, beach balls, balloon animals, helium balloons, silly string, noise makers, glow sticks and necklaces are a quick sell. Bobble-heads and frisbees branded with the name and date of the event also are popular.


hot-dog image by sumos from

Everyone gets thirsty and hungry when walking around fairgrounds or along the path of a street festival. Bottled water, shaved iced and soda are good sellers. Candyfloss, popcorn and ice cream cones are easy-to-carry treats.

Quick meals are a big hit. Hot dogs, corn dogs, and grilled sausage and peppers are a crowd favourite. Pizza, french fries and onion rings are edible treats. Ethnic foods are big sellers as people are more apt to try new things when they inexpensive.

Craft Items

Depending on the season or type of festival, many different craft booths can do well. During the holidays many unique items are sought most. Handmade hats, scarves, mittens and afghans are popular, as are homemade ornaments.. Bath salts, candles and essential oils do very well. Wood crafts and carvings, such as signs, wall sconces, plaques and clocks, as well as handmade jewellery, and unique, one-of-a-kind items are good selling choices. Pottery is another key item, as is blown glass.


Paintings and photography prints can be found at most festivals. Artists often set up an easel and do on-the-spot portraits and caricature drawings. Batik prints, wood burning and sea glass art are unique pieces that people seek out.