Food Vendor Applications Now Open for the National Folk Festival

DATE: February 7, 2018
CONTACT: Caroline O’Hare, National Folk Festival Local Manager /

National Folk Festival Accepting Food Vendor Applications for
2018 Festival in Salisbury, MD

Salisbury, MD – The acclaimed National Folk Festival- is coming to Salisbury, Maryland beginning in the fall of 2018. The Festival is now accepting food vendor applications for the 78th National Folk Festival, which will be held September 7-9, 2018, and is expected to attract 60-80,000 attendees. This presents an exciting opportunity to get involved at the very start of the Festival’s 3-year residency in Salisbury. Applications may be submitted through the festival portal on SlideRoom (
The Food Vendor application deadline is:

Application Deadline: Friday, March 16, 2018

The National Folk Festival seeks food vendors that can provide high quality, diverse, efficient, friendly service to thousands of festival-goers. The Festival prioritizes featuring a variety of regional and ethnic foods, as well as classic festival fare that will take diners on a culinary journey around Maryland, the United States, and the world.
Food vendors will be chosen for the following food vendor categories*:

• Ethnic Foods • Maryland/Delmarva Regional Foods • Snacks/Desserts
• “Fair” Foods • Other Main Dishes • Specialty Beverages

*Note: All vendors will be given an opportunity to tell the committee about any specialty items on their menu. This is your opportunity to tell us what you do really well. This is especially important for vendors who have large menus that may cover multiple categories. We want to know what your specialty is!

Applicants MUST read through the Festival Marketplace Guidelines BEFORE they consider applying. The guidelines may be found and downloaded on the festival website at:

The application must be submitted with a non-refundable $35 application fee.


Applying vendors are required to submit the following by March 16, 2018:
• A completed and successfully submitted food vendor application.
• At least one (1) current photograph of their food vending operation.
• At least one (1) current photograph of their food and/or specialty beverage.
• A non-refundable $35 application fee must be submitted with the online application by credit card.

Additional Application Information
• Application does not guarantee acceptance.
• Vendors must apply each year in order to be considered. Acceptance in 2018 does not guarantee acceptance in future years.
• Failure to meet application deadline may result in rejection of application.

Selection Process
The number of food vendors selected for the 2018 National Folk Festival will depend on the final site design layout. The Festival anticipates that with good weather, between 60-80K individuals will attend over the course of the weekend and that between 30 and 35 vendor spots might be available to meet the demands of this crowd size.
• All food vendors are reviewed by a committee. Applications are rated on product quality & uniqueness, previous vending experience serving festivals/large crowds, overall presentation, and business location (local/regional vendor). Please provide clear photos of your product and vending space so that your foods and business are represented to our committee accurately.
• Food vendors will be chosen for the following food vendor categories: Ethnic Foods, Maryland/Delmarva Regional Foods, Snacks/Desserts, “Fair” Foods, Other Main Dishes, and Specialty Beverages.
• The Festival may limit specific types of food or beverage to ensure a wide selection of items for festival-goers.
• Applicants will receive notification by email regarding acceptance or rejection by April 13, 2018.
• The National Folk Festival reserves the right to deny any application without explanation.

# # #
About the National Folk Festival
Since it was first presented in St. Louis in 1934, the National Folk Festival, the NCTA’s flagship event, has celebrated the roots, richness and variety of American culture. Championed in its early years by Eleanor Roosevelt, it was the first event of national stature to present the arts of many nations, races, and languages on equal footing. It was also the first to present to the public musical forms such as the blues, Cajun music, a polka band, Tex-Mex conjunto, Peking Opera, and many others. Today, the National is an exuberant traveling festival, produced by the NCTA in partnership with communities around the country that embraces the diverse cultural expressions that define us as a people in the 21st century.

About the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA)
A leading non-profit in the field, the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), is dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk and traditional arts in the U.S. Stressing excellence and authenticity, the NCTA presents the nation’s finest traditional artists in major festivals, tours, concerts, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, media productions, school programs, cross-cultural exchanges and other activities. It works in partnership with American communities to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that deliver lasting social, cultural and economic benefits. Over7,000 hours of the NCTA’s archival audio recordings dating from the 1930s are permanently housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The NCTA champions the interests of folk and traditional artists and organizations in the arena of public policy.

About the City of Salisbury, Maryland
Founded in 1732, Salisbury is the county seat of Wicomico County, a place where John Smith touched land in 1608 during his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay. Situated on Maryland’s historic Eastern Shore at the crossroads of the Delmarva Peninsula, Salisbury is now one of the region’s largest cities, and serves as the capital of the Eastern Shore, a rural area defined by its agricultural and maritime traditions, landscapes and industries. The Chesapeake Bay is central to this distinctive identity. Though a relatively small city, Salisbury is the geographic and economic hub of one of the nation’s fastest-growing Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Led by a dynamic mayor, the City of Salisbury is working to build its reputation as an arts and culture destination, and is aligning its downtown development and revitalization efforts with the arts. Salisbury believes hosting the National Folk Festival is the perfect catalyst to further a cultural renaissance and urban renewal.

Leave a Comment