Frequently Asked Questions
I just found out your event is going to happen next week, can I apply to be a vendor?
No. Apppcations need to be in by January 15 for the March event. There are permit deadlines involved.
We have a trailer; it’s a really nice trailer and only weighs 1 ton. Can I park it behind my tent?
Park regulations prohibit trailers and vehicles on the turf. Booth fees will be based on the longest footage a vendor uses — be it tent or trailer. So if you use a 20-foot trailer and a 10-foot tent, you’ll be charged for 20 feet. IMPORTANT: we will be monitoring space used. Folks who use more frontage than they contracted for will be billed.
Something’s come up and I can’t attend, can I give my space to a friend?
No, the Exchange Club of Austin must approve vendors in advance. Also, we can’t refund any fees.
Can I buy ice from you guys during the event?
Yes. It really helps us to know about how much you’ll need in advance so we can order enough. It’s $8 for a 40 lb. bag. We only order so much ice so if you haven’t told us what you need ahead of time, we may not have it.
Too many $20 bills! Can I get change from the Exchange Club during the event?
No. We are running a concessions area too and chances are we won’t have any change either.
How soon will I know if I’m accepted as a vendor?
Apppcations are vetted as they arrive. Hopefully by Jan 28 you will know if you have been accepted. We will notify vendors as soon as possible.
Can I pick my location?
Yes you can, on this apppcation. Tell us what your preferences are. Locations are based on several factors including park rules, access to electricity, crowd patterns, load in logistics, kind/size of trailers and type of items vended. Spaces are reserved on a first come, first serve basis. The Exchange Club reserves the right to change locations of vendors. We will always consult with the vendor if this has to be done. We want every vendor to have a great spot.
How much product should I bring?
This is very much a weather related event. If there’s good weather, folks will be there and if the weather is ‘iffy’, fewer folks will come out. We plan for 10,000.
What kind of weather does it take to post-pone the event?
Generally we postpone if it is going to rain the whole day. We don’t want to put people in an unsafe situation. We make the decision as soon as possible and call each vendor as soon as possible. Announcements are posted on our voice mail, web page and are also sent to major media outlets.
If you postpone the event will many people come on the rain date? Do I have to get new permits?
In 2010 we had to postpone the event. The next weekend we experienced the largest crowd we have had in Kite Festival history. We have the best media sponsors in the world and the weather was beautiful on the rain date. The permits are issued for both dates so new permits will not be needed if the event is postponed.
It takes time and effort to process the number of apppcations we receive each year. This helps defray some of that cost. We appreciate your understanding in this.
Tips For Vendors And Exhibitors
- Send all of the requested paperwork and fees at one time. Bottom line is the Exchange Club is an all volunteer organization — there’s no paid staff. We don’t have the time and resources to chase after missing documents and fees, meet people to deliver them, etc. Help us out by having all your paperwork and fees in one envelope and mailed on time. That will get you invited back time after time after time.
- Include good photos! A committee reviews your application. Photos and information on the events you have done in the past helps the committee make the decision to invite your business into the event. Show us what your operation is all about.
- Provide a working email address — that you also check regularly! Most of our communications are via email so being able to get email with attachments is critical. Please add the email address of the Exchange Club contact person you are given to your address book.
- Arrive before 9am. The road closes at 9am!! 9AM!! The police will turn away traffic on the main road into the park after 9am. Each vendor has to be placed so it’s wise to get there early.
- Come visit us on the kite field the Friday before the event. We will be in the Park the Friday morning before the event and will happily show you your location and where other elements of the event will be. We can meet you sooner if that’s better.
- NO setting stakes or other anchors in the ground. Bring weights for your tents. Parks staff will be available Sunday morning during load in. There are thousands of feet of irrigation and communication lines criss-crossing the ‘Great Lawn’. Vendors will be liable for damage they cause to park property. It’s well worth it to wait until PARD staff can consult with you on your needs.
- Vehicles do not cross the curb onto the Turf without the guidance of the PARD staff. For the same reasons listed above, vehicles are not allowed to park on the field. You will be allowed to unload and then move your vehicle — quickly.
- Bring everything you will need to be there until 5 pm. Once the event gets going it’s almost impossible to get in and out of the park — especially in a timely fashion.
- Keep an eye on your stuff. Even though the police are there, their job that day is safety of the crowd and traffic flow. This is a free event for the general public and things can disappear. The Exchange Club of Austin and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department are not responsible for missing or damaged property.
- Leave by 7pm and pick up the litter around your booth. That helps us get the park looking like it did when we got there and allows park staff to go home. It gets very dark very quickly, so no leisurely shut down. No one should be in the park after dark.