Deadline for vendors to sign up for Pickle Festival is Friday
By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 28, 2011 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Friday is deadline for vendors to register for the 25th annual N.C. Pickle Festival be held April 28 through May 1 without having to pay a $75 late fee
It is also the deadline for sponsorships for the Pickle Festival/Rotary Club Cabin Fever golf tournament and is also the deadline for local students to enter the Pickle Poetry Contest.
The golf tournament will be played April 15 at the Southern Wayne Country Club.
"We have sent information out to area schools for that," said Lynn Williams, chairman of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce that sponsors the festival.
There are four divisions: Kindergarten to second grade; third to fifth grade; sixth to eighth grade; and ninth to 12th grade.
"The (festival) date is different this year so we are trying to find out if they are opening their business for the day so we can make sure that we don't block the entrance to their store," Mrs. Williams said.
Vendors are being asked to decorate their booths for the Pickle Festival -- to have some sort of "pickley theme," she said.
"There will be a contest and vendors can win a free space at next year's festival for showing off the pickle pride," Mrs. Williams said. "We will give out a space to a winner in each category."
Vendors are broken down into the following categories:
*Food, commercial and non-profit
*Arts and crafts
*Non-profit church and civic.
It is important for vendors to sign up as soon as possible, she said.
"Obviously we want as many vendors who plan to participate in the festival to let us know by April 1," Mrs. Williams said. "One of the things is I think that a lot of our local folks don't really think about it or they think they can just walk in, and they can, but it just helps us so much more in planning if we know on April 1 what we have coming.
"We try to have a good variety of vendors, types of food, crafts and those kinds of things. However, the biggest thing for local organizations is the ability to hold fundraisers during the festival. So we really want to make sure that if people are planning to do something for the festival they need to let us known by April 1."
The forms must be postmarked by April 1 or people may also drop them off at the chamber office at 123 North Center Street.
All of the vendor forms, along with a fee schedule, are available online at www.ncpicklefest.org as well as information about the festival. The website is updated regularly on what is planned for the festival.
"One of the benefits of being a member of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce is that you get a free vendor space," she said. "There are some occasions where it is actually less expensive to be a chamber member.
"We are still really competitive when you look at what other festivals charge. We are very reasonable."
New this year is a requirement by the Mount Olive Fire Department that every vendor post a fire permit and getting the permit is part of the application process.
"They (fire department) have specific requirements to help ensure the safety of the festival and every booth has to have a fire extinguisher," Mrs. Williams said. "Every tent has to be of flame-retardant material. Then for vendors who are actually preparing food on site and cooking there are some more stringent requirements there. Again, it is all designed to make sure that we have the safest festival possible.
"The fire permit will need to be posted at each vendor space and if it is not when the inspections are done that morning the fire department has the authority to not permit a booth to operate that day. So it is very important that people do get the forms early, do get their things handled and taken care of, to get their fire permit."
The permit is $15 and is payable to the town.
Vendor fees and any electrical or water fees are paid to the Waylin Area Foundation -- the Chamber's charitable arm. People who will prepare food on site also will have to obtain a permit from the Wayne County Health Department.
The fire department inspects all of the booths on Saturday morning and the Health Department inspects the food booths, she said.
"We have different categories for what you want to do," Mrs. Williams said. "One of the things that we have been trying to do is to visit with our downtown merchants to kind of talk about the festival, kind of what is new and different."