How to Get a Food Stall Space at Carnivals

Written by louise harding
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How to Get a Food Stall Space at Carnivals
Cities host large-scale carnivals as special events. (carnival image by pearlguy from

Carnivals range in size from the annual school carnivals used as fundraisers for the PTA or school organisations to large, city events on a grander scale. No matter the event size, the process to reserve space for a food stall at a carnival is generally the same. Some carnivals require fees to be paid with a credit card or money order, so find out how you need to pay. Plus because food sales fall under the regulation of the health department, you'll need to obtain necessary permits as established by your state before you can turn in your application form to the carnival committee.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Food permit or temporary food sales permit
  • Insurance policy
  • List of food to be sold
  • Photo or brochure showing products and food stall presentation
  • Registration form
  • Registration fee/food stall space rental fee

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  1. 1

    Contact your state's health department to obtain the necessary health/food permits needed to sell food at a carnival. Some states charge a licensing fee for this permit. Visit your state's website to find information on this subject. You will be asked to supply a copy of this health permit to the carnival committee. You might also need to apply for a sales tax permit.

  2. 2

    Update your insurance policy to cover any accidents or incidents involving the sales and consumption of the food you sell at the carnival. You will be asked to provide a copy of this insurance policy to the carnival committee to absolve them from any legal damages caused by issues involving your food sales.

    How to Get a Food Stall Space at Carnivals
    Schools host carnivals as fundraisers for clubs and organisations. (school sign image by sonya etchison from
  3. 3

    Create a list of the food to be sold at your food stall during the carnival. Some states regulate how food is sold and require the food vendor to provide nutritional information for all food. You will need to provide this list to the carnival committee so they can verify that multiple sellers aren't selling the same kinds of food. Diversity is the key at carnivals.

  4. 4

    Take a photograph or provide a brochure featuring your food stall for the carnival committee. Submit this photo or brochure with your completed registration form.

    How to Get a Food Stall Space at Carnivals
    Take a photo of your food stall for the carnival committee. (Hot Dog image by Yvonne Bogdanski from
  5. 5

    Obtain and complete the required registration form. Forms can be acquired by visiting the website of the carnival you wish to attend, or by calling previously obtained carnival contact information.

  6. 6

    Turn in the registration form, copies of your health permit and insurance policy, list of foods to be sold at the carnival, and photograph of your food stall, along with the registration fee and food stall rental fee by whatever deadline the carnival committee has established. Carnival booths and food spaces are usually assigned on a first-come, first-reserved basis, so the earlier you turn in your registration packet, the more likely you are to reserve your desired food stall space for the carnival.

    How to Get a Food Stall Space at Carnivals
    Carnival spaces are usually reserved on a first-come, first-reserved basis. (bagels with sesame image by Vladimir Melnik from

Tips and warnings

  • Remember: Most carnivals do not issue refunds for the reserved, rented food stall space. If you cannot attend the carnival for whatever reason, do not expect to have your money returned.

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