How to become an exhibitor

Artwork from a t-shirt that says Life Is Short, Buy the Plant with drawing of a houseplantIf you're interested in being an exhibitor at the Garden Fair, download the files at the bottom of this page and return them to Friends School of Minnesota (the address is on the forms). Note: You can submit the previous year's forms for the next year.

The 2024 Garden Fair will be May 10 – 12 outside the Grandstand on Dan Patch Avenue within the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Exhibitors can be present any or all of the days the Garden Fair is open. Please note the following:

  • Submitting an application does not guarantee entry into the Garden Fair. Please send in your registration fee along with your application. Your registration fee will be returned if you are not selected to participate in the Garden Fair.
  • Exhibitor applications are approved based on selection by the Friends School Plant Sale committee. Our criteria are based on finding exhibitors whose offerings are gardening-related but do not duplicate those offered by the Friends School of Minnesota.
  • No food or beverages can be sold for consumption on site (food vendors go through a separate process).
  • All forms need to be returned to Friends School of Minnesota by February 4, 2024, if you want to be listed in the printed catalog. Otherwise, exhibit space needs to be reserved by April 12, 2023 and all forms need to be returned to Friends School of Minnesota before the start of the sale in order to exhibit at the sale.
  • Exhibitor check-in for setup is between 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at the wristband station. Please make alternative arrangements if you are not able to set up during those times on Thursday, May 9.

There are more details in the Exhibitor Instructions. Pricing and fees are included in the Exhibitor Documents below.


Participating in the Garden Fair

Forms to fill out and return

Please read the instructions letter and submit the three forms, plus proof of insurance:

FAQ for Exhibitors

Where is the Garden Fair located?

It’s in the grassy area southwest of the Grandstand, known as “block 39” or Adventure Park of the State Fairgrounds.

What are the times for the Garden Fair?  
The listed times are:

  •  Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  •  Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Do I have to exhibit the whole time?  
No, you do not have to be there the whole time. We realize these are extremely long hours to be exhibiting. If you cannot be there the whole time, we suggest the following hours as peak times when you should have your booth staffed:

  • Friday: 7:00 a.m. – early afternoon
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – early afternoon
  • Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – noon

Customer traffic will be slow and at a very relaxed pace outside of the peak hours.

Is it outside only?  
Yes, all exhibitors for the Garden Fair are located outside. We may make an exceptions for exhibitors with weather-sensitive product, such as books. 

When is setup?  
Setup is on the Thursday before the sale. Please refer to the exhibitor documents for a specific time. If you cannot set up on Thursday, please contact the coordinator for an alternative setup time.

Can I leave my stuff out overnight?  
Most exhibitors cover their products and leave their tents out for the evening. We have not had security issues in the past, but the Garden Fair does not have specific security people assigned to the area.

The State Fair has security that patrols the whole area and we usually have volunteers working on site both very early in the morning and late into the evening.

We ask that you remove any valuables and cash from your tent when you leave for the evening. The event is not liable for any damage to your booth or exhibit.

How much space do I have for my booth?  
We allocate a minimum of 10’ by 10’ for each space. Most spaces are usually larger. Understanding that gardening equipment and art can be quite large, we try to accommodate all of our exhibitors’ spatial needs.

Where will my booth be located?  
A map with booth locations will be sent out before the event to all exhibitors.

What is the cost of exhibiting?  
In trying to support local and smaller organizations, we try to keep our fees reasonable. Please see the exhibitor documents for specifics.

What is the process for the last day and checking out?  
When you are ready to leave, please locate the coordinator for final check out.

How do I get on the list for next year?  
If you're reading this during late spring, summer or fall, please feel free to submit the previous sale year’s Garden Fair application forms to the sale. It's also fine to email us at [email protected].

How can I be an exhibitor?  
Send in the forms, or if you want to enquire about the likelihood of acceptance, email [email protected]. If you're reading this in summer or fall before the next year's forms have been posted, you can submit the previous sale year’s Garden Fair application forms. Submission of an application does not guarantee inclusion in the sale.

Are exhibitors allowed to shop at the plant sale?  
Yes, exhibitors are allowed to shop any time at the sale. Additionally, exhibitors receive two “Golden Tickets” for shopping at the Thursday afternoon and evening volunteer pre-sale.