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. 


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 tiems.


How big is the booth space?

All booths are 10ft x 10ft spaces. Vendors can rent multiple spaces. Spaces are assigned by the market manager. Vendors will be charged for multiple spaces if vendor space need exceed 10ft x 10ft.


How much is the fee to participate?

The fee for each 10ft x 10ft space during the 2018 season is:

  • Prepared Food Vendor (full season only)  -This category is Full for 2018 season
    May 18 - Sept 28: $650 ($600 if paid by April 18)

  • Art, Jewelry, and Other Processed Items or Foods (full season)
    May 18 - Sept 28: $500 ($450 if paid by April 18)
  • Art, Jewelry, and Other Processed Items or Foods (10 weeks)
    May 18 - July 20: $400 ($375 if paid by April 18)
    July 27 - Sept 28: $300 ($275 if paid by April 18)
  • Produce Farmer (per 5 week session)
    $50 per 5 weeks

Applications must be in by March 1 in order to be considered in time for Early Bird pricing. For those approved by March 16th, deposit and fees must be paid by April 18 in order to get that Early Bird discount.

The market requires a $100 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 Brian Letton at WCHD at 815.720.4115 or


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

All applicants will receive an email with their application status whether approved, wait listed, or denied.  Applicants are welcome to reapply for the 2019 season.


When will I find out if I got accepted?

For those applying to start opening day (May 18), 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 6 will be notified of their status by April 16 

For those applying to start second session (July 27):

  • Early Bird: Completed applications submitted by March 1st will be notified by March 16 of their status
  • Completed Applications submitted by  April 6 will be notified of their status by April 16 and applications submitted by June 8 will be notified of their status by June 22

Applications are still accepted throughout the season as space permits.  We typically contact applicants within 30 days with update. If 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 their own goods.  Vending booths are not available for services, political organizations or campaigns, franchises, third party or hostess companies, 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 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 2018 Rules and Regulations 

If you have additional questions on the market's rules and regulations for vendors and performers, please contact the Vendor Manager at or 815.977.5124.