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Auction Themes

The event theme sets the tone for the entire event. It should start with your invitation and carry through to the event decorations and even centerpieces. Here are a couple of auction theme ideas to inspire your own unique presentation.



Born in the USA! Red, white, and blue. Flags, stars and stripes, Bruce Springstein, famous Americans.

Hawaiian Luau. Leis, hulu skirts, flowery Hawaiian shirts, Hawaiian music, coconuts, Kahlua roast pig, poi, tiny umbrellas in colorful drinks.

That's Amore! Italian food, Italian flags, Italian music, red/white/green decorations, photos of people on Vespas waving "Ciao".

Viva la France! French bread, wine, cheese, music from Amelie, Eiffel tower, can can dancers. 

InnovAsian. Chinese food, cheongsams, dancing dragons and/or dogs, red pocket money.

African Safari. Zebra patterns, elephants, lions, leopards, kudu, impala. Khaki pants, white button up shirts, scarves, safari hats.

Brazilian Carnival. Samba music and dancers, feathered headresses, colorful beaded outfits, caipirinhas.

Viva Mexico! Fiesta with Mariachis, Mexican food, sombreros, maracas, pinatas, sangria, margaritas, tequila.

Indian Wedding. Saris, jewelry, curries, dal, rice, coconuts, sweet lime juice.

North Pole. Warm coats, igloos, polar bears, seals, penguins, Santa Claus.



Clash of the Titans. Ancient Rome, togas, sandals, wine, Pegasus, Medusa, gods and goddesses.

Pirates of the Caribbean. Treasure boxes with gold coins and jewels, Jolly Roger flags, eye patches, hooks, swashbuckler costumes.

Flintstones. Back to the stone age.

Arabian Nights. Exotic rugs, curtains, belly dancers, Middle Eastern food, mint tea, sweet wine.

Star Trek. "Beam me up Scotty" with the USS Enterprise, pointy ears, and super tight futuristic outfits.

Indiana Jones. WWII adventure gear, hats, whips, guns, bad Nazis, the Lost Ark.

Rocky Horror Picture Show. Do the time warp with cross-dressers, fishnets, crazy character costumes.  

Dracula. Capes, coffins, fangs, garlic, crosses, gothic costumes. 

Chicago. Gangsters, bobs and fishnets, speakeasy with dancers, illegal hootch and moonshine. 

Mamma Mia. Dancing queen next to the sparking blue Mediterranean sea.

It's a Wonderful Life. 1930s, Christmas time, eggnog, "Every time a bell rings, an Angel gets its wings."



Roaring 20s. Speakeasy, flapper dresses, bobs, fishnet stockings, zoot suits, cigars.

Rock around the Clock with 1950s and 1960s. Poodle skirts, bobby socks, greasers.

Disco Inferno with the 1970s. Stayin Alive with bell bottoms, gold necklaces, shiny shirts, long hair, afros, oversized glasses.

"Footloose" or "Parents Just Wanna Have Fun" in the 1980s. Neon clothing, white jackets with the collar turned up, punk hair colors, hairsprayed assymetrical hair, like, you know, totally awesome.

"Smells like a (Your Schoool/Charity) Spirit" with the 1990s. Grunge music, plaid shirts, ripped jeans, Doc Martins.



Candyland. Deliciously delightful childhood game comes to life with mini and larger than life candies as decorations, centerpieces, and even desserts. Luckily we have some photos of the Candyland theme, courtesy of the creative committee at Grant Center for the Expressive Arts.

Clue. A mysterious, stylish and definitively British environment is needed to conjure the theme for this world-famous whodunnit game. Silent auctions can be named for different rooms, i.e., "The conservatory auction is closing in 5 minutes." Volunteers can dress as the different suspects, mingle during the silent, then present the items during the live auction as handlers. Appetizers might consist of such quintessential British items as cucumber sandwiches, crumpets, scones, and tea cakes.

Monopoly. Theme inspired by the most best selling board game, according to Guinness Book of World Records. Use either the original street names, railroads, and utilities or create your own inspired by the community and neighborhood that your organization services. These can be used to name the silent auctions and even live auction packages. Centerpieces can be designed to represent the different markers in the game, i.e., the thimble, top hat, iron, and Scottie dog. A "Community Chest" raffle can be sold during the silent and winner declared at the end of the evening.


Other Theme Ideas

Beach Party. Can be 50s style Beach Blanket Bingo or more current fun in the sun.

Dancing with the (Local) Stars! Mix in dance performances from well-known members of the community. Bid to keep them dancing!

Pajama Party! Pajamas, eye masks, nightcaps (both alcoholic and not). Decorate liberally with pillows.

Mardi Gras! Laissez les bons temps rouler with purple, gold, and green beads, masks, feathers, and other decorations.

Mardi Gras cake


Need more ideas?

Click to view general fundraising Auction Ideas

Click to view over 30 Silent Auction Ideas

Click to view 35 Live Auction Ideas

Click to view 12 School Auction Ideas

Or contact us to discuss in detail.

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