MSD Booth/Vendor FAQs
When is Market Square Day 2023?
MSD 2023 takes place on Saturday, June 10th.
The Festival runs from 9am – 4pm.
Can I reserve a Booth Space?
The short answer is no; everyone must go through the application process.
How can I apply for a Booth Space?
If you are an individual/group who has participated in the past, and are in “good standing”, you are welcome to return. Regardless of whether or not you’ve joined us in the past, everyone must complete/submit an application for booth space.
Is Market Square Day a juried event?
All applications, product descriptions/pictures are reviewed by a committee. They determine the number of applicants who are included based on quality of products, category limits and appropriate messages for/at the event.
NOTE: A good example of what the committee reviews may be seen in the inclusion of those who apply under the category of “Artists and Craftspeople”. All products must be created (soup to nuts, so to speak) by the applicant. Any items/products that are not hand-crafted by the applicant will not be included under the “Craftspeople” category – they will be considered a “Non-Food Vendor – Other” at a different fee level, i.e. Portsmouth Independent Business, Seacoast Independent Business. (2023: Franchises are considered “All Other,” $600)
Each participant is expected read and comply with the MSD policy that looks at booth content. That policy is noted on the Booth Information page.
Do you allow raffles?
We allow non-profits to include raffles as a part of their Market Square Day Booth. In addition to the MSD application, each group must apply for a raffle permit from the City of Portsmouth (show proof of IRS designation, raffle purpose, etc.). We do limit the number of raffles accepted for MSD.
How much does a Booth Space cost?
Cost is based on products, location of and type of business. All cost categories are noted on the Application (the 2023 fee schedule can be accessed here).
Can I ‘share’ a Booth?
The short answer: yes.
We request that you include both participants’ names, items on the application. Experience has shown us that like-minded products make the most sense when sharing a space (crafts – jewelry, photography). If one of the participants is selling/sampling food, they must comply with our Health Permit procedure.
When is the deadline for applying?
We typically have a date where a late fee applies (additional $50). We begin closing categories based on numbers, so that any one category does not overwhelm (food, t-shirts, jewelry, medical/health, are examples of categories that close early). Applications for preparing/serving food are typically capped as well due to constraints on our traditional food area, Pleasant Street. In general, the entire application process typically closes a week or so before Memorial Day.
Can I just set up a table – I don’t need a Booth Space?
The short answer: no.
All approved applicants receive a Booth Space (10’x15′). A typical space may include tables, chairs, products, etc. that folks bring in for set up in the morning.
EFFECTIVE 2014: All participants must set up a tent (10’x10′). Additionally, to avoid issues with the weather – particularly windy conditions – all tents must be weighted so that they remain safely in place.
Do you provide staffing assistance for set up/break down of the booths?
The short answer is no.
All participants must come prepared with the resources to setup, staff the booth, and break down/clean up.
Do you require insurance?
Yes, each “booth” group must have a $1 million general liability insurance policy. Pro Portsmouth is to be named as an additionally insured party for the event date.
Pro Portsmouth does offer insurance opportunities for small, start up businesses and craftspeople on a case by case basis through ACT Insurance. Applicants are invited to request this coverage; information regarding ACT will be posted on our site. (Food vendors preparing & selling food, businesses with existing policies and non-profit organizations are not eligible for the ACT policy.) PLEASE DO NOT ACQUIRE INSURANCE UNTIL WE ADVISE YOU TO.
Are vehicles or trailers allowed in the event footprint?
The short answer is no – all booth spaces should be set up using tents, tables, etc.
From time to time, the event organizer may make an exception for a partner or sponsor.
What is included in the Booth Space fee?
We allocate a 15′ x 10′ space for you in the festival area. Individuals/groups are responsible for tables, chairs, tents, etc.
NOTE: We are unable to provide water or power at the Booth Spaces; generator usage is limited to our food prep/service area on Pleasant Street.
When do we set up our space?
Since we literally close off Downtown streets for the event at 4am, setup takes place from 6:00am – 8:30am on the day of the event. All vehicles must be removed from the ‘festival footprint’ by 8am as that is when all roads close for our Road Race setup and the beginning of the day’s festivities.
Is there a rain date?
The short answer: no.
Due to the size, scope and impact of the event we go shine or rain. It is virtually impossible to ask all vendors, performers, race participants and volunteers to reserve multiple dates.
IMPORTANT: In order to be considered for a Booth Space, we ask that you submit a completed Application accompanied by pictures of products, and sketches/pictures of your setup.