Who is the Venture Local Fair for?
The Venture Local Fair Summer Series is for independent artisans, makers and service providers to exhibit and sell their wares and services, and for anyone interested in connecting with WNC’s finest artists, handcrafted goods and inspiring, talented creators and collectors.
The Venture Local Fair showcases the work of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, national leaders in the go local movement, and some of the best handmade art, food and beer in Western North Carolina. We invite the public to attend this free and family friendly street fair and enjoy high quality crafts, arts, vintage finds, local food and entertainment.
So, come on out to 68 Haywood Street, nestled in the center of downtown Asheville!
Where & when is this event being held?
The Venture Local Fair Summer Series will take place the fourth Saturday of every month May-October, 2018.
Mark your calendars for May 26, June 23, July 28, August 25, September 22, and October 27th from Noon – 7pm at 68 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville.
68 Haywood St.
Where can I park?
There are several parking garages and lots, as well as on-street parking near 68 Haywood. All are within walking distance. The following locations typically offer your first hour free:
- Civic Center Parking Deck
- Rankin Parking Deck
- Wall Street Parking Deck
After on-site load-in, Saturday vendors should be able to find on street parking spaces within easy walking distance to the event.
Please remember to pay if you park in a metered spot. The city requires you to pay $1.50/hour from 8am – 6pm on Saturdays.
What can I expect to see?
At the Venture Local Fair Summer Series you’ll find the best handcrafted goods in the region. We welcome the wild, the beautiful, the outrageous, the best our locals have to offer.
We also plan to feature a community of seekers, thrifters, finders and collectors. They will bring fantastic found objects and treasures of yesteryear for your thrill and enjoyment.
Need a massage, a haircut or a poem written just for you? The street fair brings an astounding variety of vendors and talented folks to entice and pamper all your senses!
There will also be a selection of local food and live music will fill the air so come ready to have a good time!
Can I volunteer to help?
We are currently seeking volunteers for the each of the Venture Local Fair summer series dates! If you are interested, please fill out this FORM and we’ll be in touch with the exciting ways you can get involved.
Is it handicapped accessible?
Yes! The street fair location is at street level and easily accessible.
Is there a cost to attend?
The Venture Local Fair Summer Series is FREE for all to attend.
For vendors, 10x10 maker booth spaces are available for an exhibition fee of $100 and shared booths are $125 per date that you are accepted for. The fee for food trucks is $150 per date. There is one time $10 application fee. For vendors that apply to our first date, May 26th, there will be a 25% discount off the booth fee.
Are you going to have a stage and can musicians and/or entertainers apply?
We are not planning to have a main stage this year, however, we would love to host buskers and entertainers. If you wish to participate please email us at [email protected] and send us a link to your music and/or website if you have one as well as a description of the type of entertainment you would like to provide.
Who can participate?
Makers, artists, crafters, designers, food and service providers and collectors from the WNC region who have an independently owned, local business are encouraged to apply. The Venture Local Fair focuses on unique local handmade items, arts and crafts, found antiques, salvaged and vintage treasures, locally produced food and drink and talented entertainment and services.
For MAKERS: the items represented for sale MUST be handmade or altered by you.
For COLLECTORS: the items you sell must be found objects, vintage and no longer in production.
For FOOD VENDORS: All food must be handmade locally by YOU and your company. For food trucks, we ask that you feature at least 1 dish with main ingredients sourced locally. We also will not allow corporate drinks or soda not made locally to be sold. There will be vendors providing local drinks.
For RETAIL SHOPS: ALL items you sell at this event must be made by LOCAL Artisans from WNC. We suggest you check with the vendors you would like to represent to make sure there is no overlap or redundancy represented at the fair.
PLEASE NOTE: NO contemporary MASS-PRODUCED, IMPORTED GOODS WILL BE ALLOWED.
In order to highlight the local economy, we only accept applications from individuals operating businesses headquartered in the WNC. Included counties are Alexander County, Alleghany County, Ashe County, Avery County, Buncombe County, Burke County, Caldwell County, Catawba County, Cleveland County, Cherokee County, Clay County, Graham County, Haywood County, Henderson County, Jackson County, Macon County, Madison County, McDowell County, Mitchell County, Polk County, Rutherford County, Stokes County, Surry County, Swain County, Transylvania County, Watauga County, Wilkes County, Yancey County.
We aim to have a diverse collection of businesses and products represented.
We reserve the right to dismiss any exhibitor if they have misrepresented themselves or their merchandise, or for any reason we deem appropriate.
How do you select vendors?
In determining which applicants will exhibit at the Venture Local Fair, we rely on the expertise of seasoned artists and those intimate with the local business community to determine which applicants best display our goals of originality, uniqueness, creativity, and quality. Our goal is to maintain the overall look and feel of the fair, to showcase the talent we have in WNC and to create a diverse yet complementary blend of vendors.
When is the deadline to apply?
Applications for the May 26th date are due by Wednesday, May 16th. Notices will be sent out no later than Friday, May 18th for this kickoff date.
Other dates will be available to apply for until they fill up, but please apply and reserve your space as soon as possible, there is limited room available.
What if something happens and I can’t make it?
If you cancel your booth with at least three weeks notice and we are able to secure a replacement from the waiting list, you will be refunded 50% of your booth fee. Otherwise, your booth fee is non-refundable, no exceptions.
Do I need to collect Sales Tax?
You are responsible for registering your small business with the IRS and North Carolina State and collecting sales tax (if applicable) for the items you will be selling. When tax time comes around, you will have to remit sales tax on all the items you sold to the state. We recommend that you call the North Carolina Department of Revenue for more info.
What do you mean by “service providers”?
We wish to ensure that attendees will experience the vast array of talent and ingenuity based in the WNC region. Because our region is rich in the arts of healing, cosmetics and performing, we encourage these individuals to apply. We would love to see others offering their services beside our artisans and collectors.
How much does it cost to exhibit?
The vendor fee for a 10 x 10 space is $100 (per date) and is due upon notification of acceptance. The fee for shared booths is $125. Apply for the May 26th and receive 25% off that date’s booth fees.
Food Trucks wishing to participate must also fill out this form. The fee for trucks is $150. Electricity is available on site. Food trucks cannot run generators. There is a $10 nonrefundable registration fee for all applicants.
Only outdoor spaces are available. We assign the booth space and will notify you of placement the week of the fair.
What is the money from my vendor fee used for?
Your exhibition fee pays in part for logistics and the location cost including permitting, insurance and security as required by the city as well as signage. It also helps fund marketing and advertising costs ensuring this event is well attended and a success for all involved.
Are you in the startup phase of your business and searching to get in front of as many customers as possible? Do you have a product or service ready to sell but not enough data to determine if your goods are market-ready? In partnership with Mountain BizWorks and the City of Asheville we’re able to offer Test Drive, where pre-revenue and startup entrepreneurs can sample, market and sell their merchandise at the region’s most well-attended events in Asheville. Through this initiative we have joined forces to give new businesses the opportunity to gain valuable market feedback and turbocharge your startup under the Test Drive tent.
Will there be electricity provided on site?
Electricity will be available on-site. Food trucks and other vendors are not able to bring or use generators. Please indicate if you need electricity on your application and we will do our best to accommodate.
Will there be WiFi and/or an Internet Connection?
While the Venture Local Fair will not be responsible for providing public wifi for this event, cellular towers are accessible in this area. If you plan to use wifi for this event it is the vendor’s responsibility to use a secure private connection to do transactions or business otherwise. We do not condone using nearby businesses open wifi connections without prior consent and encourage those that use the internet for transactions to use a secured private connection.
Can galleries, collectives and businesses featuring Local Artisans apply?
If you have a business that features many smaller local business owners who are not considering applying to the event, you are welcome to apply and represent them. We ask that you approach the businesses you represent and ask them if they intend to apply individually before filling out the application. In your application, please provide the names of the local businesses you intend on featuring. Please note that all criteria for our individual vendors must apply to them.
What is the deal with set-up and tear down?
Due to limited loading space we will assign you a specific time slot to unload on the morning the Saturday events, giving you adequate time to set up before the event opens at noon. The event closes at 7pm the same day and we are asking that everyone be out no later than 8pm.
You may not be able to pull your car up all the way up to your booth space to unload and load, but the distance from the loading zone to the booths, is quite close.
All street vendors will receive a 10x10 ft. space to set up in. You must provide your own tent, tables, chairs and weights. This area of downtown can get very windy and we require each corner of your tent to be weighted down with sufficient weights (1 gallon water jugs are not enough).
Please, do not break down early. You are expected to remain set up until 7pm. If you break down early we may not be able to accept you for future shows.
What are your food vendor requirements?
We accept a limited amount of food trucks and artisanal food vendors. Food trucks and food vendors must be properly licensed by the city of Asheville and have all required health permits from Buncombe County.
There is electricity provided on-site. Food trucks m ust provide their own water and legally dispose of their waste and waste water.
Because of our focus on the local economy, we ask that non-pre-packaged food vendors provide at least one dish with locally sourced ingredients. We suggest you highlight that dish or product prominently at your booth or truck.
I design my own products, but I don’t make some components. Can I still apply?
The Venture Local Fair’s first priority is to showcase and promote goods made locally in the WNC region. However, we realize that rarely can one complete the creative process start to finish. For example, a designer might hire a company to produce t-shirts, cards, photos, etc.; and certainly almost every artist has to use supplies that he or she did not physically make.
Additionally, some artists may now have businesses that hire employees to help produce and create finished products. We love that, it is not our intention to penalize small business growth. Thus our policy is that the ideas, prototypes, brand direction, etc. of a Venture Local Fair maker must originate with an artist or artisan’s vision. This excludes any corporate or box store retailers, and keeps our vision to promote small, regional businesses.
Please note: preference will be given to artists that prioritize made in USA for any manufacturing not completed by the artist or their crew.
What is your policy for collectors of vintage products? Do I qualify?
The Venture Local Fair’s goal is to showcase regional small businesses. Collectors, antique and vintage lovers who scour the South for pieces of history reflecting our unique culture will be given preference. Please note, mass produced, contemporary items or those recently manufactured overseas will not be admitted. If you are a collector and wish to vend your items must be authentically of an era that has past.
We also welcome upcycled clothing, furniture or goods that have been creatively repurposed for modern usage.
Do you accept applications for nonprofit funders or business incubators?
The Venture Local Fair has a handful of booths set aside for nonprofits working closely with our business community. We want our small businesses to have access to the resources our community has available and feel it is crucial for your nonprofit to have some representation.
If you have an organization located in North Carolina that you would like represented at either the street fair or the conference please email us: [email protected]. We have sponsorship opportunities as well as spaces available for you to highlight your work. Let’s see how we can incorporate you in this event.
Theft and who is responsible?
The Venture Local Fair is not responsible for personal injury or any items damaged or stolen during the duration of the event (including move-in, move-out and the hours of the event). It is the responsibility of each vendor to transport their belongings and to not leave valuables unattended.
While we do our best to ensure a safe and secure environment to sell your wares by hiring security as well as having plenty of volunteers on hand, the VLF is not responsible for your belongings.