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Turning Sixty, Carnival Style

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes for Dale. And even more importantly, thank you for the good weather vibes you sent our way. Despite the forecast (which had me in tears Saturday morning) the day turned out to be beautiful. It wasn’t too hot and the sky actually cleared and we had sunshine for the first time in days. What an incredible gift that was!

Now, let me take you back about a year. I was just starting to plan Hannah’s graduation party and Dale happened to be looking over my shoulder while I was on the internet checking tent sizes and prices. He saw a dunk tank on a company’s website and said to me, “you can rent a dunk tank?” I told him, “honey, you can rent just about anything, including a dunk tank.” So he tipped his head to one side and said, “are you throwing me a sixtieth birthday party next year?” I said I hadn’t given it much thought yet but that I would if he wanted one and he said that he did and he wanted it to include a dunk tank and he wanted to be the one getting dunked.

I built his entire birthday party around that dunk tank and we had an old fashioned carnival for him. I think the theme was quite appropriate since my husband is really just a big kid. We had carnival food, including popcorn and hot dogs, BBQ chicken and potato salad, baked beans and . . . wait for it . . . fried dough!

Dale didn’t want a cake so we had ice cream novelties for dessert and a friend of ours got us a chest freezer to use for the day. We used a beach umbrella, a wooden wheel (from an old spinning wheel, as a matter of fact), and a dolly to make the freezer look like an old-fashioned ice cream cart.

I wanted the decorations to be really colorful and fun. In fact, the word I kept using was colorpalooza. I made these huge tissue paper things to hang from the tent.

And I made ribbon streamers for each corner of the tent.

The centerpieces were the pinwheels I made a while back and I put them in #10 cans along with colorful lollipops.

We set up all kinds of backyard games, including a balloon dart board.

There was also the dunk tank, of course. The water was pretty cold but Dale had a ball sitting in there and shouting “high and dry” and “where’s all the ball players”. He got dunked plenty of times and it was the highlight of the day for everyone to watch this routine.

We had a palm reader. Okay, it was really my friend Lois but she did research on this and did a pretty legitimate job of it. And we had a DJ who played music that was lively and fun and got everyone dancing.

There were knit bloggers and fibery friends in attendance. Total attendance at the party? 114 people!!

I had lots of help and I just couldn’t have pulled this off without it. Hannah’s friends came and ran the games and took pictures. I recruited several friends to make potato salad and others brought appetizers to share. The kids all helped with decorating the tent and making my vision of the party come to life.

My favorite part of the whole event though, had to be the photo booth. It’s so much my favorite that I think it deserves a post all it’s own – – – on Wednesday.

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?


This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. I knew the weather would come through for you! I can see why you were so bummed Saturday morning. It could have been a real bummer to have that party in the rain.

    You are amazing! What great ideas. It looks like everybody had a lot of fun. And you are probably now exhausted and need 2 days of vacation to rest!

  2. Carole! What a FABULOUS party! What a wonderful way to celebrate a milestone birthday! I’m so glad the weather worked out for the party — but, y’know. . . it would’ve been fun even in the rain!

  3. That looks like the most fun party of all times! My favorite thing is the “Dunk a Dale” sign–hilarious! I’m so glad the weather cooperated!

  4. You thought of every detail! What incredible fun! Glad the weather cleared for the festivities.

  5. Sounds like an excellent way to make someone feel loved on their birthday. I think sometimes it is the slightly over the top, and attention to detail that lets even the more reserved of us have a good time at such an event. Wonder what he’s got up his sleeve for your next significant birthday?!

  6. I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue here … you are DEFINITELY the hostess with the mostess! The party was FAN-freakin’-TASTIC! Even if there had been downpours, everyone still would have had a great time. The atmosphere was so casual and relaxed that everyone felt at home. Dale’s party couldn’t have been more perfect 🙂 Great job, Carole!!

  7. No wonder you wanted good weather and, for Dale’s sake, it’s a good thing you had sun! What a fabulous job you did! Very, very cool.

  8. what a fabulous party! love all the details you included…. 60 is certainly a milestone and deserves that kind of attention! happy birthday!!

  9. Everything Jo-Ann said! It was awesome — we all had so much fun and were so happy to share this special birthday with you, Dale and your family!! xoxoxo

  10. Oh, Carole, is looks just wonderful and so much fun! Fantastic!! Happy Birthday (again) to Dale — that’s one he won’t likely forget.
    ; )

  11. Wow! You are the consummate party planner. If you hadn’t copped to faking the ice cream cart I would have never known. Dale is one lucky guy.

  12. WOW! You are the bestest party planner! I love people who will stop at nothing to make a great party.

  13. Forgot to say — you’re lucky to have a husband who’s still a big kid, because after your kids grow up, who are you going to plan a great birthday party for? I miss that.

  14. OMG. What a wonderful party! I am so sad to not have been there. Your imagination made the perfect celebration! Dunk-a-Dale. I’m sitting here laughing.

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