How do I become a vendor?

Anyone wishing to become a vendor must sign up for a free vendor profile and submit a completed application via and be selected through a committee approval process. A completed application includes an application, photos of the product, photos of the booth set-up, and signed contract.  Vendors wishing to sell food or beverages will be asked to submit samples. To ensure a wide variety of goods at the market, the number of vendors in each product category will be limited. 

Applications for the season are usually available the first week of February every year and can be found in our application section here


How local are your market vendors?

The Rockford City Market gives preference to vendors within a 150-mile radius. Local products and vendors receive priority. The event strives to work with local small business owners and entrepreneurs in the area who produce their own items.


How big is the booth space?

All (non-food truck) booth spaces are 10ft x 10ft. Vendors can rent multiple spaces. Spaces are assigned by market management. Vendors will be charged for multiple spaces if vendor space need exceed 10ft x 10ft with a discount of 20% for spaces 2 and beyond.

Please note: we do not allow vendors to park their vehicles within the grounds (unless you are a food truck) so spaces are for tents or trailers only. Trailers will need to be unhooked from their vehicles and vehicles will be parked in the nearby vendor lot.


How much is the fee to participate?

The fee for each 10ft x 10ft space during the 2019 season is:

  • Food Truck Vendor (full season only) 
    May 17 - Sept 27: $1,400

  • Prepared Food Vendor (full season only) 
    May 17 - Sept 27: $700 ($650 if paid by April 19)

  • Art, Jewelry, and Other Processed Items or Foods (full season)
    May 17 - Sept 27: $550 ($500 if paid by April 19)

  • Art, Jewelry, and Other Processed Items or Foods (10 weeks)
    May 17 - July 19: $425 ($400 if paid by April 19)
    July 26 - Sept 27: $300 ($275 if paid by April 19)

  • Produce Farmer (per 5 week session)
    $50 per 5 weeks; $200 for 20 weeks

Applications must be in by March 1 in order to be considered in time for Early Bird pricing. For those approved by mid March, deposit and fees must be paid by April 19 in order to get that Early Bird discount.

The market requires a $150 attendance deposit from every vendor to ensure consistent attendance. The deposit will be returned in full within 30 days of the close of the Market provided the vendor participates in the required amount of the selected Market season (9 of 10 weeks; 18 of 20 weeks.) Deposit is due with vendor fees once application is approved.


Is there electricity at the market?

Electricity is available at no cost but is limited and vendors with high usage may be required to supply generators. Vendors are designated spots based on their electric needs. These electric needs must be clearly stated on the application. Fines will be assessed if vendors exceed stated needs. All details are on the vendor application.


Do I need insurance?

Vendor shall obtain and maintain general liability insurance covering bodily injury, personal injury, or property damage with limits of not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and a $2,000,0000 general aggregate.  Certificates must list Rock River Development Partnership as certificate holder and additionally insured.


What kind of licenses/permits do I need?

It is the responsibility of the vendor to obtain and provide to the Market Manager copies of all licenses and permits required for the sale of the vendor's products at the Market in addition to the basic application.

Questions/concerns regarding food product regulations and/or licensing should be directed to the Winnebago County Health Department.

Vendors selling food or beverage items or giving samples of these must meet current Winnebago County Health Department food guidelines and have applicable operating permits. Vendors must keep a copy of these permits at their market stall at all times.

All Winnebago County health permits must be acquired at least three weeks prior to the event. For more information on health permits, contact Mike Wood at WCHD at 815.720.4115 or


What happens if I don't get accepted after submitting an application?

Every year we received more applications than we can accommodate. All applicants will receive an email with their application status whether approved, wait listed, or denied.  Applicants are welcome to reapply for the following season. Please see the Application page for guidelines on how applications are vetted.


When will I find out if I got accepted?

For those applying to start opening day (May 17), the application deadlines and notifications are as follows:

  • Early Bird: Completed applications submitted by March 1st will be notified by March 16 of their status

  • Completed Applications submitted by April 5 will be notified of their status by April 16

For those applying to start second session (July 26):

  • Early Bird: Completed applications submitted by March 1st will be notified by March 16 of their status

  • Completed Applications submitted by April 5 will be notified of their status by April 16 and applications submitted by June 7 will be notified of their status by June 21

Applications are still accepted throughout the season as space permits. We do not look at applications for the current season after August 31st.  We typically contact applicants within 30 days with update of status. If it has been over 30 days or you have questions about your application status, please contact the vendor manager at or 815.977.5124.


What types of vendors are able to participate?

The Rockford City Market is a downtown market that focuses on local small businesses that produce (make, bake, grow, etc.) their own goods.  Vending booths are not available for services, political organizations or campaigns, franchises, third party or hostess companies (ex: Lularoe, Doterra, Avon, etc.), or not-for-profit organizations. For the full list of criteria and how applications are prioritized please see our vendor guidelines section.


How can my nonprofit organization get involved?

We have a couple of great opportunities for nonprofits and schools to use to promote upcoming events or their organization.  If you're a nonprofit organization who would like to promote your organization at the market by being gatekeepers or running an activity booth please see our nonprofit volunteer opportunities section here


How are corporations and other local businesses able to participate?

We welcome requests for sponsorship opportunities from these leaders of business. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Cathy at


What are the Rules and Regulations for vending at the market?

Click here for the 2019 Rules and Regulations. For guidelines on what types of vendors we approve, please go to our application page here

Where can I find a commercial kitchen?

The Rockford City Market has a 24-hour commercial kitchen available for rent in their indoor market building adjacent to the outdoor market (opening in May.) For more information or to be placed on the list to contact once space is being booked, please contact our kitchen manager at or call us at 815-977-5124.

How do I Get A TAX NUMBER?

All vendors are required by the state to have their own Tax Numbers and pay their own sales tax for their market sales. Vendors can check out how to apply for a tax number by going to the IL Department of Revenue website at or by calling the local branch at 815.987.5210



The City of Rockford requires market vendors to pay the 1% redevelopment (metro) tax in addition to their state sales tax. This affects vendors selling beverages or prepared food for consumption on site. It does not affect sales of produce or other goods. For more information, click here. For additional questions, please call the City of Rockford Revenue at 779.348.7165.