top of page

Culinary Arts

The Des Moines Arts Festival prides our culinary operations on aesthetic appeal and menu selection across the site, including two food courts and a handful of stand-alone booths. We offer our guests an eclectic variety of food to hit every taste bud. Our Food Vendors are also leading the charge in sustainability efforts by using all compostable serving materials for the over 200,000 guests who visit the DMAF each year.

Applications closed March 10.

East Food Court Vendors 2024

Located on Locust St between 12th & 10th St.

West Food Court Vendors 2024

Located on Grade Ave., west of 15th St.

Vendors Around the Festival

Mocktails and Cocktails - Liquid Art

 Located on 12th St., near Grand Ave.

Beverage Tents

 Located on the corner of Locust and 12th, Grand and 13th, on Locust in between 13th and 15th, and on the corner of Grand and 15th

West Beverage Beer Trailer

 Located on the corner of Grand and 15th

2024 Food Vendor Guidelines & Regulations

Application Deadline: March 10, 2024

Notification of Acceptance: April 2, 2024 

2024 Festival Dates: June 28-30; Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm // Sunday, 11am-5pm
Please review the below guidelines (or download a pdf version here) before applying.

 

The fifteen-time Grand Pinnacle Award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival® presented by Nationwide (DMAF) will be held June 28-30, 2024. This free, annual three-day arts and culture festival surrounds the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. DMAF invites you to “…go where it takes you…” by engaging with 195 invited professional and emerging visual artists, the Interrobang Film Festival, live music on two stages, performing arts, interactive arts activities, award-winning community outreach programs, live artist workshops and demonstrations, and artisan food and beverages for every palette.  

The Des Moines Arts Festival prides our food vending operations on aesthetic appeal and menu selection across the site, including two food courts and a handful of stand-alone booths. We offer our guests an eclectic variety of food to hit every taste bud. Our Food Vendors are also leading the charge in sustainability efforts by using all compostable serving materials for the over 200,000 guests who visit the Festival each year.

Food vendor applications are reviewed and selected by the Food Vendor Relations Event Management Team – our on-site volunteer management team. The team looks for unique flavors/items for a summer festival and price points, as well as past interactions with vendors (if new to DMAF, the team will connect with your provided references). The Festival’s goal is to have different types of cuisine in each food court, having no more than two-three flavor profiles of each across the site.


Operation Requirements and Guidelines

  • For safety and aesthetic purposes, DMAF will provide vendors in the East and West Food Courts (excluding food truck/trailer and select “sweets & treats” vendors) with:

    • 10x10 tent with tent sides and weights

    • (2) 8 foot tables

    • (1) tent can light

    • A serving counter

    • Menu and vendor name signage

  • Food Truck/Trailers are provided with one DMAF coroplast menu to uphold the aesthetics of the Festival and provide ease of ordering for guests. You are required to mount these menus on your truck/trailer.

 

  • Vendors selected as stand-alone booths are “sweets and treats” vendors and may utilize their own tents if approved by DMAF. PLEASE NOTE: Stand-alone vendors who bring their own tents are not permitted to use a cheap, lightweight, accordion-style pop-up tents. All tents must be weighted properly with a minimum of 40lbs of weight on each tent leg. This helps ensure the highest degree of safety to the food vendor, their neighbor, and festival guests. Do NOT rely on us to provide sandbags. The proper tent with the proper weights is entirely the responsibility of the food vendor. Severe weather can hit at any time. Weights on the tents will be inspected at set up. DMAF staff will not place their lives at risk to secure a tent. Weights are available for rent for $50 (flat fee for two weights) from Classic Events – selected vendors will be able to order these through DMAF.

 

  • Storage on-site (booths only): you will have 4'x10' feet of storage behind your booth. Items in that space must not spill onto the sidewalk or outside of that space, if they do you will be asked to leave the site. If your items exceed this space, consider purchasing a 6'x10' grill space for additional storage.

    • There are two refrigerator trucks available for your storage use, free of charge, on-site starting at 4pm on Thursday, June 27. You are responsible for those items. Mark your items AND DON’T FORGET THEM AT THE END OF THE FESTIVAL!!

    • Each main food court will have complimentary water accessibility.

    • Each main food court will have complimentary oil waste and wastewater disposal available.

    • Each booth will include a landfill and compost bin including bags. Bins will be placed directly behind your booth/food truck/trailer. Bins are emptied by staff throughout the Festival.

 

  • To maintain DMAF aesthetics, concession trailers are not allowed. If your concession trailer can break down to look like a food truck/trailer, please let us know.

  • Trucks measuring 31’ and over, including the tongue, are not accepted due to space available on-site.

  • Booth placement is at the sole discretion of the DMAF.

  • Preference is given to locally owned and operated food vendors.

  • Uniquely branded containers and refillable cups are not allowed at DMAF regardless if they're compostable.        

  • All food vendors are required to use compostable materials to serve food and beverages. All items must be purchased through DMAF selected supplier (DMAF will provide the supplier your contact information). This ensures the lowest price for you and eliminates confusion for guests when disposing of waste.

  • You are encouraged to accept card payments. The Festival managed beverage and merchandise booths are cashless with no festival provided ATMs on the site. You are allowed to accept cash as payment from guests.

  • DMAF manages the following beverages on-site: bottled water, soda, beer/wine/spirits. Vendors are not allowed to sell any of the items listed.

  • Menu items are limited to six if you’re selling only food or only specialty beverages. If you are selling both food and beverage items, your menu can be increased to seven items. No bottled drinks are allowed.

  • Food vendors have the opportunity to reach 1,000-2,000 transactions on Friday and Saturday and 500-1,000 on Sunday. Please make sure you are capable to serve at that capacity and speed.

  • ALL selected food vendors are required to attend one of two Food Vendor Meetings over Zoom (May 29 @ 5:30pm OR May 30 @ 2pm).
     

Fees
Application Fee: A $200 application fee via check or credit card must be included with the application submission (before March 10).

  • If you are selected to vend at the Festival, your application fee will go towards your space fee.

    • If you are selected and cancel your participation at any time, the $200 fee is non-refundable.

  • If you are not selected, your $200 application fee will be shredded (if paying by check) or refunded (if paying by credit card) within 7-10 business days.

  • If you are waitlisted, your application fee will be held until May 7. If selected, your application fee will go towards your booth fee, if not selected, your application fee will be shredded/refunded.

Booth Fees:

  • Food Booth (10x10): $1,950 (6 menu items)

    • Includes: (1) 10x10 tent, (2) 8’ tables, (1) tent can light, serving counter, menu banner, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, 4’x10’ storage space behind tent, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.
       

  • Specialty Beverage Booth (10x10): $1,950 (6 menu items)

    • Includes: (1) 10x10 tent, (2) 8’ tables, (1) tent can light, serving counter, menu banner, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, 4’x10’ storage space behind tent, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.

 

  • Food & Specialty Beverage Booth (10x10): $2,450 (7 menu items)

    • Includes: (1) 10x10 tent, (2) 8’ tables, (1) tent can light, serving counter, menu banner, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, 4’x10’ storage space behind tent, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.
       

  • Food Truck/Trailer, 20’ and under: $2,300 (6 menu items)

    • Includes: menu coroplast sign, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.
       

  • Specialty Beverage Truck/Trailer, 20’ and under: $2,300 (6 menu items)

    • Includes: menu coroplast sign, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.
       

  • Food and Specialty Beverage Truck/Trailer, 20’ and under: $2,800 (7 menu items)

    • Includes: menu coroplast sign, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.
       

  • Food Truck/Trailer, 21’ - 30': $2,600 (6 menu items)

    • Includes: menu coroplast sign, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.
       

  • Specialty Beverage Truck/Trailer, 21’ - 30': $2,600 (6 menu items)

    • Includes: menu coroplast sign, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.

 

  • Food and Specialty Beverage Truck/Trailer, 21’ - 30': $2,900 (7 menu items)

    • Includes: menu coroplast sign, access to refrigerated truck space, potable water, oil waste bin, (1) landfill and (1) compost bin behind booth for your individual use.

 

Additional Fees:

  • Grill Fee / Additional storage space (6’x10’ fenced area, next to tent). No wood or charcoal grills allowed: $500

  • Electric (available Friday, June 28, 2024 at 7:30am – see additional information in the “Electrical” section below)

    • Food Booth (3), 20 amp circuits: $90

    • Food Booth (6), 20 amp circuits: $180

    • Standard Food Truck/Trailer (50) amp RV connection (1450 R): $180

    • Additional hook up for Food Truck/Trailer (3), 20 amp circuits: $90

    • Additional hook up for Food Truck/Trailer (6), 20 amp circuits: $180

  • A separate clean up deposit check of $500 must be sent with initial payment. It is your responsibility to keep your space clean and sanitized during the Festival. When your space is cleared with the Festival Food Vendor team at check out, your $500 check deposit is shredded.
     

  • Booth, electrical, and grill (if applicable) payments, clean up deposit, and insurance (including listing DMAF as additionally insured) is due on or before May 5, 2024. Split payment option is available with second half of payment due on or before July 1, 2024. Those who do not make payments will be banned from future festivals.

 

Electrical
Due to electrical cost increases, electricity will be available starting at 7:30am on Friday, June 28. There are no exceptions. Two refrigerated trucks are provided, free of charge, for your use starting Thursday, June 27 at 4pm. If you need a freezer, please make prior arrangements or plan on loading in on Friday, June 28. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR ELECTRICAL NEEDS ARE ACCURATE. IF CHANGES ARE MADE ON-SITE, THE ELECTRIC FEES WILL DOUBLE. If you have electrical questions prior to the Festival, please reach out to our on-site electrical lead before June 1: Travis.Woster@zieglercat.com.

ATTENTION FOOD TRUCKS/TRAILERS: you are required to use an “RV plug”, 50A, 125/250 Volt, Nema 14-50R, 4 wire receptacle. Electricians will not provide an adapter for you. If you need to purchase an adapter, check your local big box home store.

Insurance
All food vendors are required to provide to the Festival a Certificate of Insurance naming Des Moines Arts Festival as an additional insured pursuant to a general liability insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000. Without this certificate, food vendors will not be permitted to sell. There will not be any exceptions. Address to use for DMAF as the certificate holder:
Des Moines Arts Festival, 900 Keosauqua Way, Studio 431, Des Moines, IA 50310.

Taxes
Food vendors retain 100% of their sales and are required to individually apply for an Iowa Tax Permit. The application is free and can be accessed HERE. You are responsible for your own taxes when participating at DMAF. If you have questions regarding your taxes, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Iowa Center for Economic Success for free business education and services.

City of Des Moines Rules/Regulations
*Please review the Iowa Food Safety and Protection Task Force guidelines online.  
Please note: Temporary food license fee is $50 for a single event or $200 for an annual license.

*Please review the City of Des Moines Fire Safety Rules and Regulations (updated June 8, 2022)  

Review City of Des Moines Rules/Regulations for Food Vendors

Mobile Food Vendors: please closely review the City of Des Moines Mobile Food Vendors rules and regulations. The City of Des Moines requires all trucks to be inspected by Des Moines Fire Department. NOTE: inspections are available the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 8-11am. Review and complete the documents required from the City online HERE. Review these closely as they are VERY particular and we cannot help you if you don’t follow their guidelines!!
 

Questions? Connect with Daphne at ddickens@desmoinesartsfestival.org.

Let's get connected!

Join our email list to receive updates on our programs and events as well as arts and culture news across Central Iowa.

bottom of page