Step by Step: Create Your Own Carnival Theme Candy Buffet

Everybody loves candy, and having a candy buffet at your event is a great way to supplement your dessert offerings as well as give guests a fun treat to take home. You can display your candy during dessert or set it up near the exit at the end of your party for guests to take as they are leaving. A candy table can also be a fantastic decor element, as you can coordinate your candy to your event’s theme and colors.

This beautiful rainbow candy buffet from Candy Warehouse would be fabulous at a carnival or circus-themed event:

Carnival candy buffet

Caterers charge thousands of dollars to provide a candy buffet, but this is one element of your party that you are certainly able to do yourself for much less expense. Start by buying your candy online from a site like Candy Warehouse. They sell bulk candy directly to the consumer, saving you hundreds of dollars in candy costs.

Candy Warehouse’s site is easy to use, as they categorize candy by color, season, occasion and holiday. You will want to order approximately 1/4 lb to 1/2 lb of candy per guest. Whether to average up or down within those guidelines depends a few factors. Will the candy be available for dessert or only at the end of the evening for guests to take as they leave?

If you are offering candy as a dessert option or an activity station during your party – which would be fitting at a carnival or circus party – order more candy as you don’t want the display to appear skimpy through the remainder of your evening. Also, if you are having a smaller party, order up as you want to present a full display. And remember, you need several pounds of each candy to adequately fill a canister or serving bowl; for most candy items, a 5 lb bag will fill a one-gallon container.

Photo: Party NV

Photo: Party NV

For a carnival or circus theme, pick candy in a variety of colors for a fun, festive appearance. You want to vary the size, shape and flavors of your candy; offer small candies, larger candies, wrapped candies, and some tall lollipops or rock candy sticks to add a “wow” factor to your presentation. Also make sure you have sweet candy, sour candy, some gummies, at least one chocolate offering (if you don’t have any issues with melting during storage) and some licorice or gumballs for variety.

As you can see in the Candy Warehouse candy buffet below, you don’t need to order large quantities for items like unicorn pops, ribbon candy and whirly pops. Those types of large upright candies are generally used to add interest to your display and take up much more room in canisters then smaller bulk items. You can also just pop a few in the top of a container of other candies for a fun look.

Many venues will provide containers, scoopers and tongs for a candy buffet, so make sure to ask. If yours does not, you can buy the appropriate containers and servers online also. Remember, you also want to vary the size, shape and height of your containers.

Step 1: The Candy

Step 2: The Canisters

Step 3: Scoopers and Tongs

Step 4: Bags and Containers

Step 5: Labels

Put labels with your logo, monogram or the date of your event on your treat bags or boxes.

You can also make labels for each of the different treats in your candy display, or order these great vintage candy tags available on Etsy:

Candy tags

For more ideas for a carnival or circus theme event, see Throw a Big-Top Bash for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah!

Carnival Save the Date

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