Downtown Merchant Booth Application

Deadline: Sep 15, 2022 11:59 pm (GMT-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Date: Nov 05, 2022 10:00 am - Nov 06, 2022 5:00 pm
Wilson, North Carolina

About the event

This is the 18th year of the annual North Carolina Whirligig Festival. The event started as a way to celebrate what was unique to Wilson, NC - the innovative and whimsical folk art whirligigs created by Vollis Simpson. At the heart of the festival is a park containing 30 of the giant metal structures that spin in the wind. The festival includes home-made arts and crafts, food vendors, non-profit agencies and sponsors. Entertainment is provided on several stages with live music, a free kids zone, a kids performance stage, strolling artists and art demonstrations. More than 50,000 visitors attend over the 2-day festival weekend in historic downtown Wilson. The festival is run by a group of dedicated volunteers and is held each year the first full weekend in November.
North Carolina Whirligig Festival
North Carolina Whirligig Festival
North Carolina Whirligig Festival
North Carolina Whirligig Festival

About the application

Welcome to the North Carolina Whirligig Festival! Browse through of application and let us know if you have any questions.
Downtown Merchants are encouraged, welcomed and desired to participate in the NC Whirligig Festival. Merchants can set up a booth, hold an outdoor sidewalk sale, create a display to attract customers inside the store and work with the festival to engage in a variety of creative ways. The Whirligig Festival is the largest event in Wilson. Businesses that embrace the opportunity to invite customers into their stores will see an increase in revenue during the festival weekend and beyond.
Downtown Merchants have several festival application options:
1. Store Open Listing only - ($0 fee)  for merchants that will have their business open during the festival, but do are not interested in a booth or outdoor display. The festival will promote their store as open. However this option does not guarantee the space in front of your store will remain open, a vendor may be assigned if space is needed by the festival.

2. Downtown Merchant Booth -  ($25 fee) reserved for businesses within the designated “in the festival zone”. To be “in the zone” means that the street in front of your store is closed, barricaded from traffic flow and festival activities are established directly in front of your store.   To assure you that no other vendor will be set up in front of your store, apply for this booth.
3. Downtown Restaurant Booth - ($225 fee) reserved for food businesses within the festival zone. As food vendors require separate considerations and health inspections, any food businesses wanting to have vending spot outside their restaurant must apply separately to be considered as a Food Vendor. Downtown food vendors and restaurants within the festival zone receive a 50% discount off the Food Vendor application fee. 

4. Downtown Perimeter Merchant Booth - ($125 fee) discounted fee for those businesses within 1 block of the festival zone, typically affected by street barricades and a change in traffic flow. The “Perimeter Merchant” booths are only for merchants within a one block perimeter of the festival, which means you may be located near or just outside the barricades. In some locations parking is still available with an anticipated high level of walking and parking traffic near your store due to the festival layout.  Apply for this booth for placement inside the festival zone. Perimeter food businesses will be considered after the “in zone” vendor are reviewed. 
5. Downtown MSD Merchant Booth -  ($425 fee) reserved for businesses in the downtown area that pay the additional MSD taxes. Merchants may apply at a 50% discount off the Commercial Vendor applications. Apply for a booth assignments within the festival zone. MSD food businesses will be considered after “in the zone” vendors are reviewed.   
Wilson businesses not located in the downtown area are encouraged to participate and can apply using the Commercial Vendor application. Consider becoming a Sponsor to increase your return on investment. 
Fees: $25 Application + Booth Fee
All vendors pay an $25 application fee. Booth fees vary depending on vending category and size of booth. Booth fee are charged once application is approved.
This is an electronic agreement and by applying for the booth, you are validating and approving this agreement electronically.

Terms & Conditions

Refer to the NC Whirligig Festival Vendor Policies and Guidelines.


Store Open Listing - Inside the festival Zone, NO booth & NO display on the street $0 Non-refundable This category lets the Whirligig Festival know that your business will be open during the festival weekend, but you are not interested in having a booth space or display on the street. The Downtown Merchant Association will promote you are open and ready for customers. However, if you would like to assure the space in front of your store is open (no vendor assigned) so that your store front is visible to festival attendees, this is NOT the category you need to select. Please select one of the paid booth options.
Downtown Merchant Application fee $25 Non-refundable There is a $25 non-refundable application fee which is charged upon application. Should you select a "In Festival Zone" booth space, you will have no additional fees.
In the Festival Zone Single Booth - Business located within the CLOSED festival streets (10 x 15ft) $0 Non-refundable This selection is reserved for the Downtown Merchants located on a closed street with the festival zone. No additional fee will be charged. This assures you the space in front of your store will be open with no vendor assigned. The space is for you to set up a display and promote your business. We advise that you do not leave it empty, as it will simply appear as if a vendor is missing.
Perimeter Business Single Booth - Business within 1 block of the closed Festival streets (10x15 ft) $125 Non-refundable Downtown Perimeter booth spaces are specifically for merchants within 1 block of the closed festival zone. These merchants are affected by the festival street closures and traffic. Perimeter merchants are offered a discounted application to counter balance the disruption of traffic flow. In 2022, the Commercial application fee is $850. Downtown Perimeter Merchants may apply to the festival for a discounted rate of $125.00 Single booth space is 15 feet wide and 10 feet deep. This is for the use of a 10x10 ft tent. The extra space on the left and right are to provide space between vendors. Your tent may not extend beyond 10 feet deep - this is set by fire code standards. If you need a wider booth, you may purchase a double or triple space as they are available.
Downtown MSD Merchant - Single booth space $425 Non-refundable
10x30 ft Downtown/Commerical Double Booth space $175 Non-refundable Downtown Merchant booths are reserved only for businesses located within the designated festival zone. The double booth space is 10 ft deep and 30 ft wide. This provided two single booth spaces side-by-side for larger displays. A limited number of double booth spaces are available.
10x45 ft Downtown/Commerical Triple Booth space $275 Non-refundable Downtown Merchant booths are reserved only for business located within the designated festival zone. The triple booth space is the largest booth space allowed. The space is 10 ft deep and 45 feet wide. This is 3-single booth spaces side-by-side. We offer a limited number of triple booth spaces.
110 v Electrical Outlet $20 Non-refundable Approximately half of the vendor booth spaces have ONE electrical outlet available. Vendors requesting electricity are strategically placed to provide utilities and a variety of vendors within each block of the festival. Electrical requests will be considered on a first come, first served basis.
Water access $20 Non-refundable Access to water is limited and typically reserved for food vendors. However, requests will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Water access will at a corner fire hydrant. Vendors should bring 100 ft hose to reach booth.

Questions on the application

Business information

  • Business name
  • Legal business name
  • Contact name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Website (Optional)
  • Logo (Optional)

Additional information

  • Have you been a vendor with the Whirligig Festival before?
  • List the other festivals and events in which you have participated:
  • Please provide a description of your business, items or services for sale and price range.
  • What is your Facebook or other internet website address?
  • Insurance
  • NC Sales Tax ID Number
  • Do you want to participate in the Virtual Marketplace after the festival?
  • How did you learn about the NC Whirligig Festival?
  • COVID Guidelines
  • By signing your name, you agree to our terms and conditions.

Picture requirements

  • Minimum pictures required: 5
  • Upload a minimum of 5 photos: (2) of your booth display or store front and (3 or more) of the items or services that will be for sale in your booth.
Downtown Merchant Booth Application
Downtown Merchant Booth Application
NC Whirligig Festival 2022