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Carnival & Party Warehouse

Address: 4 Bridge Rd Glebe NSW 2037
Phone: 1300 772 789

Tags: fancy dress hire, party supplies, costumes, fancy dress shops

Step right up, folks, to wigs and wands, trinkets and tooters, balloons, beads and bubbles. In this fun palace, you’ll not only step into party time, but also into carnival history.

The family that owns this company of favour and fantasy. They are fourth-generation show folk who, despite their Anglo-Saxon name, are descended from Antonio Faiella, a fiery Italian from Sorrento.

Faiella arrived in Australia in the early 1900s and tried to peddle his intricate, inlaid wood penholders to travelling shows. He realised they wanted other kinds of prizes, so he started making comb and sewing kits and importing trinkets for the lucky dip and hoopla stalls.

He opened his Novelty Supply Store under the arches of central station in 1932s then moved to Goulburn Street in the 1930s. The family still has the original signage: “Direct importers of the latest toys, novelties and fancy goods”. After Faiella’s death, his wife, three daughters, two sons and a son-in-law all came in and finally, the business passed to his grand-daughter, who’s been running it full time since. “I’ve been part-time since I was 14,” she says. The family used to supply show bags for the Easter shows in Brisbane and Sydney and sold kewpie dolls and toys.

Now it’s party, party, party. There are five long shelves just of bubbles and glitter. Halloween spookiness is in one corner and there are packs of kids’ dress-ups (Fairy, Princess, Pirate, and Cowboy). Or pick up a single wand or peaked princess hat. Grown-up kids shop here, too. One aisle is full of adult fantasy dress-ups, French maid to pimp.

There is a moustache section, and masks galore of animals and birds. At the far end of the shop, past the hats and straws and candles, you’ll find decoration for themed parties: Luau, Western, Pirate… a woman trundles past with a trolley and a basket filled with leis.

The 70s disco theme is huge – Afro wigs and rhinestone Dame glasses a la Edna Everage are wildly popular. Oscar statuettes fly out of the door at Christmas time, when office workers hand out mock awards. Moulin Rouge means boas, cigarette holders, and sequined top-hats. Mums and schoolgirls in Peter Pan collars assemble their party loot bags from the shelves that hold novelties packed by the dozen.

“It’s a happy shop,” say the owners. “After all, the worst that can happen is a customer can’t get the mask they wanted.”

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from 98 AUD per night