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Food and Vendors

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I get an application to become a vendor/exhibitor at the upcoming Illinois State Fair?
2. When are applications available for new vendors to apply?

  • New applications are available on our website around mid-December. If the website is not updated with the current application please contact the Space Rental Office at 217.785.1980.

3. If I applied to be a vendor last year and was not offered a contract, do I need to submit another application to be considered for the upcoming Illinois State Fair?

  • Yes, new vendors/exhibitors should apply every year, if there is continued interest in our event.

4. How much does it cost to participate in the Illinois State Fair?

  • Rates for new vendors vary according to location and front footage. 
  • Additional costs include 
    • electricity, 
    • daily admittance 
    • supply lots (if needed).

5. How are new vendors chosen?

  • Vendors are chosen with the following criteria:
    • Completed application
    • Uniqueness of product
    • Electrical needs
    • Availability of space
    • Professional appearance as presented by the color photo required to be submitted with the application
    • References, referrals and experience with multiple-day events

6. Do I have to pay to get into the Fair?

  • All vendors must pay for admission and parking.
  • Admission booklets are available for $45 and include 11 tickets - one ticket will provide one person admission into the Fair for one day only.
  • Parking permits cost $40 for the entire length of the Fair.
  • Vendors are not required to park on the Fairgrounds but will need to find alternative accommodations if they decide to park elsewhere.

7. Is camping available on the Fairgrounds?

  • ·Camping on the Fairgrounds is available, but it is limited.
  • Vendors can submit camping paperwork at any time once the forms become available for the current year

8. Can I sleep in the supply lot if my personal storage unit has the ability?

  • Sleeping in supply lots is not allowed .
  • Vendors who are found to be sleeping in supply lots will be asked to find other accommodations immediately.
  • Due to the limited camping space and the influx of people in surrounding hotels/motels, this may be difficult to find.

9. Do supply lots have water available?

  • No, water will not be available in supply lots.

10. Can vendors use generators in their trailers?

  • Vendors are not allowed to use generators to supply their trailer’s electrical needs unless approved by the Fair Manager. 

11. I am a not-for profit entity. Can I have a location during the Fair at no cost?

  • Per the Illinois State Fair Rules and Regulations, locations are not given to not-for profit entities for a discounted rate. Such entities must pay for their location like any other vendor/exhibitor.

12. If I am chosen to participate in the Illinois State Fair, when are my payments due?

  • Outside vendors are placed on a flat-partial contract. The charges for electricity and ⅓ of the space cost is due by July 1st. The remaining balance is due the Monday that falls during the Fair.
  • Vendors/exhibitors in the Exposition Building or Senior Center must pay for their electric and space fees by July 1st.
  • Select vendors are offered percentage contracts. These vendors must pay for their electricity by July 1st. The percentage of sales, as stipulated in the contract, are due daily to the Space Rental Office.

13. How much does electricity cost?

  • Exposition Building and Senior Center: $75
  • Outside locations, including supply lots:
    • 30 AMP - $150
    • 50 AMP - $300
    • 100 AMP - $450

14. How much does water cost?

  • Water is provided at no cost to the vendor. While the water is free, the vendor must understand that this is a privilege and abuse of this privilege will be handled accordingly.

15. What do I do with my grey water?

  • Most locations have drains in close proximity. Vendors with locations that do not have drains readily available will be notified and will be responsible for renting their own bladder from our preferred vendor. Vendors who do not wish to rent a bladder will need to choose an alternate location, if one is available.
  • Public Health does not allow vendors to release grey water into sewer drains or onto surrounding grassy areas.

16. Is there free Wi-Fi available on the Fairgrounds?

  • While Wi-Fi is free and generally available across the Fairgrounds, we do not guarantee the availability or consistency and vendors should be prepared, regardless of the situation.

17. Can I expand beyond my contracted footprint?

  • Vendors are required to report their footprint requirements at the time of application.
  • These dimensions should include trailer tongues, tent stakes, awnings and anything else that may take up physical space.
  • Vendors who expand beyond their contracted footprint will immediately be asked to adjust back to their predetermined footprint or pay the difference if that option is available.
  • Failure to remain in the contracted footprint may result in additional charges, relocation or removal from the Fairgrounds.

18. What happens if I am unhappy with my location?

  • Vendors are welcome to request relocation for the following Fair. The request can be submitted on a “Relocation Request” form or by noting it on the Return Invitation, sent to participating vendors in mid-December. Relocations are not guaranteed but the request will be reviewed.    

19. Are there any opportunities to become a Mobile Marketer or to bring a mobile tour to the Illinois State Fair?

  • Mobile marketing is allowed at the discretion of the Illinois State Fair Manager.
  • Inquiries and consideration requests can be directed towards Dennis Morris: 217-782-0777

20. How do I become an Illinois State Fair sponsor?

21. What vehicles are allowed on the grounds during the Fair?

  • Golf cars are the only acceptable means of transportation. Continuous running vehicles that start with a key - i.e.: Gators™, Mules, Rhinos, ATV’s and other similar vehicles - are PROHIBITED unless approved by ISF Management.
  • Golf cars are only allowed in specific areas during the Fair to maintain the safety of all Fairgoers.