The Festival of Lights was founded in 1993 as a 501(c)3 charity to raise money to fund the annual holiday lighting along Chandler Boulevard. Fundraising activities are centered on two main events; the winetasting in the Spring and the "Kickoff Party" in Desert Foothills Park over Thanksgiving weekend. These events have been organized by a very substantial network of volunteers. Since 2000 FoL has partnered with local charities that assist us in our events and receive financial support from those events. We invite you to apply to be one of our 2016 partners. Emailed entries due Friday, February 26, 2016.
The Festival of Lights donated a total of $7,000 to the Kyrene Foundation and Y-OPAS as the beneficiaries of their 2015 charity partners. Y-OPAS, a program of the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, is a community effort offering free support services for the seniors of Ahwatukee to enable them to stay independent at home. The Kyrene Foundation's mission is to remove barriers to learning so that all students have the opportunity to excel in school. Funds raised help to support the Kyrene Family Resource Center which provides Kyrene families in need access to food, school clothing and supplies, enrichment scholarships and referral for emergency assistance.
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When is the event?
It is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and this year that date is November 28, 2015.
Where is the event held?
The event is held at Desert Foothills Park, which is located just SW of the corner of Desert Foothills Parkway and Chandler Blvd. in the Ahwatukee Foothills of Phoenix, Arizona.
What happened to "Crafters Row"?
Marketplace Street Fair is the same thing that we've historically referred to as "Crafters Row". Over the years it's grown to include all types of vendors - not just those who hand-craft items. In addition to the many traditional crafters, we have all types of franchise consultants (ie. Arbonne, Discovery Toys, Creative Memories, etc.) as well as local shops selling from their stocked inventories. It really is a variety street fair, and the fact that it's literally on Marketplace Street...well, it's doesn't get any easier for us to rename it!
How many people do you expect?
Based upon past attendance, we anticipate about 12,000 will attend the event at some time during the day.
What time is the event?
The official time is 11am to 7pm, however vendors are required to check in by 8:30am. There is no admission so you may begin sales as early as 9am.
Why do we have to be set up so early when the event doesn't even start until 11:00 am?
Marketplace Street becomes a mall in a matter of two hours. There are approximately 100 cars that have to unload. Because there is a hard street closure by the City of Phoenix beginning at 9am, we require that you arrive for unloading no later than 8:30am.
How much are booth spaces this year?
$100 if paid by October 31, $125 November 1 and later. Corner spaces can be reserved for an additional $25. Booth sales will close entirely on November 15th, if not already sold out prior to that date. In the event of a sellout, we will start a wait list.
How big are the spaces?
Each space is a 10’ by 10’ area on Marketplace Street which is closed to through traffic on the day of the event.
What comes with the space?
Only the space and electricity to power lights and a radio if desired. The Festival of Lights does not provide tables, chairs, umbrella shade, or any other amenities – each vendor is responsible for providing their own booth amenities. The Festival of Lights does provide generator operated overhead lighting along the street to insure safety in the early morning and early evening hours of the event. This lighting is sufficient to allow attendees to safely walk the Crafters Row area before sunrise and after sunset. Vendors may not bring their own portable generators.
Do I need a business/tax license from the State of Arizona and/or City of Phoenix to participate as a vendor?
We do not require that you provide us a copy but The Festival of Lights is required to report a list of all vendor business names and phone numbers to the State of Arizona.
To apply for a business tax license:
City of Phoenix - http://phoenix.gov/finance/plt/index.html
State of Arizona - http://www.azdor.gov/
Does The Festival of Lights require photos of our display booth and/or the items we are selling?
No, however you are required to have a neat and clean display.
What is the deadline for applying to be a vendor?
Payment is due in full by November 15, 2015. No exceptions. Space often fills up prior to deadline as well.
Are non-profit organizations provided booth space for free?
As a rule, the answer to this question is no.
Can we purchase more than one booth?
Yes you may, but there is no price break to do so.
Can we share a booth?
How will I know what booth space I am assigned?
Approximately one week before the event you will be emailed your booth space number. When you arrive to set up your booth you will be given directions to the space.
Can I request a specific booth space?
No, however, if you want to be located next to a specific vendor, such a request will be honored if possible.
Will there be specific instructions given to vendors on how they will access their booth space to set-up and tear down their booth?
Yes, along with your booth number a map will be sent to you showing your booth space location.
Do we have to stay for the entire event?
No you do not, however you cannot bring your vehicle back into the vendor area until the official end of the event, so you would need to bring some type of dolly or wagon to load your equipment onto and hand carry it to your vehicle.
Is there an assigned parking area for vendors?
No, vendors need to park in the same public area as attendees. You are there early in the day to setup and chances are you'll get a pretty good spot in the dirt lot.
Is there Handicap Accessibility parking?
Yes, we have a limited number of handicap spaces available on the south end of the street near Desert Foothills Pkwy. We encourage you to leave those spaces for the attendees of the event and park in the dirt lot near the Chandler Blvd. intersection.
Are you a juried event?
No, however we do screen what is sold and typically do not allow duplication of items, meaning if you are selling an item that another vendor is already registered to sell we will ask that you do not sell that particular item in your booth. There will be no offensive or sexually explicit items allowed (this is a family oriented event attended by a large number of children). We also closely screen novelty items.
Why do you limit jewelry vendors?
Jewelry seems to be a very popular craft and in order to make this event enjoyable for both the shoppers and the vendors, we limit the number of jewelry booths. Shoppers don't want to be inundated with nothing but jewelry booths and the jewelry vendors don't need excessive competition. If there is too much jewelry to choose from, shoppers have a hard time making a decision and end up not buying anything from anyone. Jewelry spots in this event are usually filled up in September.
Will I be allowed to sell food?
You can sell packaged food that is intended to be taken home. This can be in a basket, or stand alone. You will be required to have a "temporary food service establishment" permit which can be obtained at the Maricopa County website.
What do we do if it rains?
You may get wet. You may melt. Bring an umbrella. Unless The Festival of Lights cancels the event due to completely unbearable conditions, the event will go on rain or shine. Booth fees are non-refundable.
What if I have a question that is not addressed on this FAQ sheet?