The traditional carnival cakewalk can serve as an efficient fundraiser and a fun activity at the same time. While all cakewalks are performed in basically the same way, presentation and delivery can make a world of difference from one cakewalk to the next. You want the cakewalk to be attractive to potential participants as well as rewarding to those who decide to join in.
Cake Making Party
The most important part of a cakewalk is the cakes or other treats offered. If carnival-goers have no desire to eat the cakes available, they will have little incentive to buy raffle tickets and participate. Store-bought cakes (especially affordable ones from grocery or convenient stores) are often poorly decorated and have a mediocre quality of taste. Instead, invite friends, family and fellow cakewalk throwers to a cake-making party the night before. Each person should bring ingredients over for a single cake, a batch of brownies, a batch of cookies, a pie or another one of their favorite treats. Each person can mix their ingredients and take turns baking it to completion in the oven. Once a cake or treat is baked and ready, people can take turns decorating and packaging their treats. This will ensure that all treats are of homemade quality and as fresh as can be. This can be advertised at the cakewalk to encourage participation.
Cakewalks can be setup in a number of ways. The main objective is to have consecutive spots for participants to walk or sit, and each spot should be numbered to correlate to a cake or other prize. Depending on the crowd, you may want to draw chalk squares, setup comfortable seats, lay bean bag chairs or pillows out on the ground or choose other types of place markers. When choosing your setup, keep in mind the age and physical ability of the crowd. If it is likely you will have elderly participants or participants that are handicapped in any way, you may want to set up comfortable chairs that can be reached easily when the music stops.
Your table display should be bright, vibrant and well-arranged. Cakes, cookies, pies and treats can be organized in descending fashion -- first prize, second prize, third prize and so on. The prizes can be surrounded by decorations such as confetti, tissue paper, ribbon, flowers, pinwheels and other small items. The color of your tablecloth, decorations and the packaging of the treats can be color coordinated for aesthetic appeal. Your cakewalk display table should attract people from across the carnival with its colors and arrangement.
The more likely a person is to win something, the more likely she will participate. Advertise your cakewalk as having not only first, but second, third and perhaps more prizes per round. Each person's raffle ticket should be good for about three to five rounds during which three to five prizes will be handed out. If within your budget, arrange small prizes to give to each participant, whether or not their number is called. These prizes could be a small bag of cookies or candies, and can be handed out to each person simply for participating.