Vendors who wish to sell food, craft and other items to the thousands of people expected to attend the annual Celebrate Neosho on June 28 at the Hugh Robinson Memorial Airport are encouraged to contact the city of Neosho promptly.
Wes Franklin, public relations and events coordinator, said Celebrate Neosho always draws quite a variety of vendors.
“We just want to get the word out that we’re having this event, and if you haven’t participated in Celebrate Neosho in the past, we want you there,” he said.
Franklin said food booths are limited to three vendors per main item such as funnel cakes and kettle corn, and advised that kettle corn has already been closed out, as three vendors have already staked out that claim. That’s why he said it is important for food vendors to state their intentions to participate as soon as possible so you can be one of the first three to declare a certain food item. As it will be summer, Franklin said there will be no limitation on the amount of vendors who feature cold drinks or shaved ice.
He encourages those who may have a unique item to hawk.
“Last year we had somebody that was selling deep-fried Snickers bars, and they were a big hit,” Franklin said. “So anybody that sells something that maybe the people haven’t tried before — one thing I’ve found out with the Celebrate Neosho crowd is people aren’t afraid to try new things — and I think if somebody had something that maybe other people may not have in this area, they could do really well and I think the people at Celebrate Neosho would respond to it favorably.”
Franklin said more than 60 total booths at last year’s event provided the full venue of food items.
“If you have anything unique that hasn’t been done or maybe that other people aren’t doing, try it, bring it out, present it at Celebrate Neosho,” he said.
He recounted a recent visit to the state fair at Tulsa where a booth served hamburgers inside, not a bun, but a glazed donut.
“And the line for that was longer than any line there. People went crazy about it!” he exclaimed. And he surmised that most of them there did it so that they could say, “I tried it.”
Franklin welcomes craft vendors and added, “This isn’t a craft show, per se, but this will draw a big crowd — we’re expecting anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 people — so whenever you have that many people you’ll at least get your name out there.”
He encourages anyone with patriotic items to participate so those attending can display their red, white and blue in the shadow of the nation’s birthday. Franklin said one restriction is that only one vendor of certain exclusive commercial items can appear at an event, such as Tupperware, Avon and the like.
Information booths are also welcome.
“You don’t even have to sell anything,” Franklin said. “If you just want to get the word out about your business or organization.”
He said booth space this year has been increased from 10 by 10, to 12 feet by 10 feet. For-profit booths are $25, with an extra $10 for electric, and Franklin said non-profit organizations that only provide information will get a single booth for free, though it is $15 if they want a double space, and the $10 applies if they need electric. He said non-profits that are selling items will be charged $10 for a single booth.
Celebrate Neosho vendor applications are available on the city’s website.
“Just download and print it there from neosho.mo.org, stop by city hall, or call me,” said Franklin.
Franklin can be reached at 451-8050 if you would like an application emailed to you.
In order to coordinate the placement of all vendors and get the arrangement mapped out and mailed to the vendors, Franklin would like for vendors to apply by June 15.
Gates to Celebrate Neosho will open just before 4 p.m. on that last Saturday in June, and Franklin said the festivities will continue until 10 p.m., after the annual fireworks display has concluded. He said the full schedule of events can be found on the city’s website, www.neoshomo.org.