Be a Food Vendor at Festivals and Fairs

March 2019

Photo Courtsey: sl wong at PexelsPhoto Courtsey: sl wong at Pexels

If you dream of selling cotton candy or your own special recipes at festivals and fairs, you’ll need to know a few requirements before you go out and start your own food trailer. 


First and foremost, you need to figure out what permits your county and city require. Permits will vary depending on where you are selling. Typically you will need to obtain vendor’s license and food handlers permits. If you are planning to attend a specific event, the coordinator can direct you on what permits you’ll require. If you plan on traveling with your food truck or stand, you will need to obtain a license with your local health department. Also keep in mind that you will need a vendor’s permit for each location you service. Requirements may also vary from state to state. 


The next important step is to obtain insurance. Again, requirements will vary based on your location. You will need to obtain a specific food vendor’s insurance policy. You may also be able to obtain an umbrella coverage if you plan on going to various events. If you only plan on one event, you can obtain temporary coverage for that event. 

Vendor Applications

Every festival or fair that you plan to sell at will have vendor applications and requirements. Be certain that you are planning well in advance. This is particularly true for very large fairs, like state fairs. There may be deadlines several weeks prior to the actual event that you will need to send in your application by. They will also want to verify that you have the necessary permits as well. 

Your Vehicle

Now you can start planning the fun stuff. An actual food truck makes it fun and easy to transport from one location to another. However, if you need a more economical option and you already have a vehicle that can tow, a food trailer may be a better suit for you. Each type of vehicle has their own benefits, so you will need to make a decision based on your needs and your long term goals. 

Within your vehicle, you will need to have the correct equipment as well. You can purchase fully outfitted trucks and trailers for food vendors that include all of the coolers and cooking appliances. It will be vital that you have sufficient food storage so you won’t run out of ingredients in the middle of the day. You will also need to ensure your equipments meets the sanitation regulations set forth by your state health department. 

Your Menu

Finally, the really fun part. What are you going to cook? Consider the event that you will be attending and who your audience is. Consumer research will go a long way in ensuring that your food items will be popular at the events you attend. Try to avoid foods that are hard to eat while walking and shopping. You want to have good food, but you also want convenience, particular in a fair or festival setting. If you have any doubt on the portability of your food, you might consider going the extra mile and provide some seating options as well, such as picnic tables near your food stand. 


I have a funnel cake trailer, we do some fair an festival, but we would like to have more fair and festival. if you guy can help us with that I will appreciate. thank you

By victor postillon on March 27, 2019

have a great bbq food truck want to vend more this year.

By kinard portee on April 4, 2019

I am Starting a mobile bar out of a converted cargo trailer with concession window.  I know There’s lots of permits and licensing that I will Need to get before I can Start. This first year of business I’ll Bartend mostly weddings and reunions, but eventually would like to expand to larger events and festivals. I’m having a hard time figuring out which type of events would allow a mobile bar, since many of them already have established beer gardens. Any advice on reaching out or resources to get the ball rolling?
In Oregon.

By Amanda on April 5, 2019

We sell hawaiian shaved.  In springfield, mo.  Would love to do more fairs and festivals

By Donna Ewing on April 14, 2019

We sell Hawaiian shave ice throughout AZ.  We have alpacas and mini horses we can bring if allowed.

By Zinncon on April 19, 2019

Good day, I have been a merchandise vendor for 12 years. I now switched over to food/beverages and would love any information on the events with a substantially LARGE amount of attendees.
I used to check the stats of events to see that past history of the amount of people attending to make it make sense but I ran out of resources to search for these events.. I now just put “vending opportunities in _____” in google and things will pop up. I’d then check the past history and make a decision that way. Some were good and some weren’t as filled as the stats say so in turn I loose bcuz I’d bring back merchandise I can’t sell for another year. I’m just looking for some guidance on booking major events.

I thank you for your time and help in this matter.. All the best.

By DaMel m.Williamson on April 27, 2019

It has been mentioned to us multiple times that we would be an awesome fit for the Franklin, TN. Arts & Craft Fairs.  We would love to be considered for some of your Craft Shows. We were having a hard time figuring out how to apply for these events.
You can go to to find out more about us.  Thank you for your time!
Shari Kempf

By Jesus is Key LLC on April 27, 2019

I am looking for fairs to purchase a vendor booth..  I have owned Mystics by the Sea for 16 years, located in Milford Ct.  I would like to hand out informational brochures on our services.

By Mary Clare on May 21, 2019

We are a food vendor with killer Tj style Tacos. Everything is cooked over our big Mesquite/ Charcoal Santa Maria Grill.

By Tacos El Gringo on May 27, 2019

iam an Italian ice vendor in Louisiana. email: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

By So Icey on May 31, 2019

I do bbq hulihuli On Hawaiian style you’re still gonna check me out on Facebook Hawaiian dancing grill

By Stewart taufa on June 5, 2019

I own a food trailer and would like all info on any festivals gone on

By Brenda DENBY on June 15, 2019

Hello, We are a coffee trailer that specializes in espresso and regular coffee. Our menu includes Regular coffee, Cold Brew, Iced Coffee and Espresso. Our coffee beans are ground as you order. We have hot chocolate, Home made sweet tea, water and bottle soda. We offer pastries as well.

We try to add in different ideas as time goes on and requests are made.

By William MIller on June 17, 2019

Hello, I was wondering do you offer leads to these events, via email? Like do you send updates of upcoming food vendors needed events?

By Anthony on June 18, 2019

Hello, we have a Fresh Lemonade Stand (fancy pants lemonade).  We are looking
For available booths. We have a hot summer coming so please keep us in mind!

By srsanchez22 on June 20, 2019

Hello, I’m interested in food vendor to sell terriaki bowl and spam musubi ..if UT County Fair Aug 14-17 available please let me know thanks.

By Vea Afo on July 5, 2019

Leave a comment



Please enter the word you see in the image below:


find festivals
within miles
      Advanced Search


Sign up for complimentary newsletter and event listings.

join our community now
sign up now

If already a member Click here to Login