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Circus Chic Birthday

When you think of a circus you might think of a big red-and-white striped tent, exotic animals and bright colors that shout excitement, but that wasn’t what Lee Cordon thought when she planned her daughter Mary Lawrence’s fourth birthday party. No, she went for a more whimsical circus theme that incorporated her daughter’s personality – sweet-natured, shy and very girly.

// Click on image at left to view more images from this party.

Instead of the common primary-color party supplies in the circus theme aisle, Lee used a pink and yellow scheme for party décor. She found invitations, labels and party inspiration online at The TomKat Studio and put her previous experience as an event planner to use. She designed tablescapes using pinwheels, tubs of cotton candy and boxes filled with mini corn dogs, animal crackers, caramel corn, elephant peanut candy, popcorn and sliced apples with caramel dip.

To keep the vintage carnival feel she used old milk bottles with lemonade and pink-striped straws with each child’s name affixed. She thought about making the corn dogs and specialty treats herself but stopped short when she realized pulling double duty as event planner and mom was just too much. “Besides, the State Fair Corndogs from Tom Thumb are better than homemade,” Cordon says. She picked up the cupcakes from Tart Bakery and Society Bakery along with popcorn and caramel corn from daughter Mary’s favorite sweet spot, Candy Corn’s.

Event planning is a creative escape for Lee, but she doesn’t do it alone. She enlists the help of friends who all share and swap party supplies when their kiddo’s special day comes around. “Save all your party supplies and decorations, and your friends can use it for their younger children in a few years,” Cordon says.

No circus is complete without entertainment, and there was plenty of good ol’ fun at the Cordon family home. Mary’s 15 buddies enjoyed simple games such as toss the beanbag into the bucket and a fishing game using magnets and wooden poles that Cordon made. Boopsie the Clown stopped by for face painting and a fun magic show that had kids squealing in excitement. Each kid went home with their own bucket of cotton candy and pinwheel to remember the day they went to the circus.