Neptune Festival has grown from its modest beginnings in 1974 into the largest special event in Virginia. It is also regularly selected among the Top 10 Events in the Southeast and Top 100 in the United States. Each year, businesses and organizations of all types apply to take part in the Festival by having a space along the oceanfront during Boardwalk Weekend.
FOOD VENDOR: Must make and sell product onsite, or make at a Virginia Health Inspected establishment and sell onsite. The more unique and specific your product/specialty is, the more likely it will be accepted into the Festival. (For example - a vendor that sells a specialty brisket or lobster roll or gelato as their sole product, it is more likely to be accepted than a vendor that sells a wide range of fair foods). We will feature unique products in our Festival marketing leading up to Boardwalk Weekend.
NON-FOOD VENDOR: Must provide/sell a tangible good onsite that a customer can take away with them
EXHIBITOR: Must sell a good or service that a customer CANNOT take away with them (i.e. must be purchased or received at a later date)
NON-PROFIT: Must be a certified 501-C3 organization. This cannot be a retail space, rather a venue for increasing brand awareness.
Important Vendor Dates
January 14, 2022: Online Applications Open
Applicants will be notified of acceptance or declination via email within 30 days of submission
July 15, 2022: All Fees and Documentation Deadline
To include lease agreement, vendor sponsor form, proof of liability insurance, proof of or purchase temporary business license
August 23-29, 2022: Site Notification, Drive-on Date & Time Notifications
Festival Management, in coordination with the state of Virginia and city of Virginia Beach are closely monitoring the ongoing concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID – 19). We are abiding the state of Virginia and city of Virginia Beach mandates on all health, safety, social and physical distancing protocols. State/City COVID-related mandates, restrictions, and protocols for September are still TBD. All vendors will be required to adhere to applicable mandates within their booth space and provide their own protective products, etc. as necessary.
If the Festival is cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) restrictions implemented by the state of Virginia and/or the city of Virginia Beach, vendors/exhibitors will receive a full refund of lease fees, less application fees. There will be no pro-rated or partial refunds.
General Event Information
Overall Festival Hours:
Friday, September 24, 2021 from 12:00PM – 11:00PM
Saturday, September 25, 2021 from 10:00AM – 11:00PM
Sunday, September 26, 2021 from 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Art Show Hours:
Friday, September 24, 2021 from 12:00PM – 7:00PM
Saturday, September 25, 2021 from 10:00AM – 7:00PM
Sunday, September 26, 2021 from 10:00AM – 6:00PM
7th-8th Street Beach - International Sandsculpting Championship
17th Street Park - Family Fun Zone
19th-31st Street Boardwalk - Art Show
24th Street Park - Musical Entertainment
31st Street Park - Musical Entertainment
32nd-36th Street Beach - Beach Volleyball
36th Street Beach - Beach Yoga and Fitness Experience
You will be assigned a drive-on date and time. Larger operations (20'x10' or larger) are required to arrive on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
The following are the ONLY drive-on times:
Wednesday, September 22, 1:00PM
Wednesday, September 22, 4:00PM
Thursday, September 23, 10:00AM
Thursday, September 23, 5:00PM
Missing your assigned drive-on time may result in not being able to set up your operation, not receiving important documents, passes, and city/fire/health department approval to operate. Missing your assigned drive-on time will also affect your acceptance into future events.
How to find your location
Locations are, for the most part, on the Boardwalk railing, between 9th and 32nd Streets. The sites are numbered from south to north, along the rail.
Once a concession vehicle has been off-loaded, there is one Neptune Festival free parking option: the Rudee Loop Gravel Lot. This is first-come, first-serve. We strongly suggest you park at the hotel or residence in which you are staying during the event weekend. There are short-term/hourly parking lots and garages located at 2nd Street, 4th Street, 9th Street, 19th Street, 25th Street, and 31st Street. More information and rates can be found HERE.
The Neptune Festival has secured 24-hour roving and stationary security along the boardwalk and in the parks to monitor the Festival and maintain safety. Security presence begins Wednesday, September 22 and ends on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Please ensure that you take your own proper precautions in securing your operation, as the Festival is not responsible for any lost, destroyed or stolen items.
Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend is generally a rain or shine event. Every reasonable effort will be made to conduct the Festival as scheduled. Festival Management, in coordination with municipal authorities, weather officials, and other resources, will closely monitor weather conditions before and during events. If weather or other circumstances exists or develop, that in the opinion of Festival Management, would present serious hazards to life or property, Festival events, included Boardwalk Weekend events, in whole or in part, may be adjusted or cancelled at the sole discretion of Festival Management. Only if the entire Festival is cancelled in full, will applicants receive a space fee refund. There will be no pro-rated or partial refunds.
If you are in need of a Tent, Water Barrel, Tent Lighting, Chairs, Tables, Linens, etc. prior to the festival, please contact our operations partner - Perfect Event Rentals - for your vending needs. Tent Weights are ONLY available with Tent rentals and cannot be rented separately. Contact them at (757) 428-5987 or view their website HERE
Booth Signage and Flag Restrictions
In accordance with directives from the City of Virginia Beach, the Neptune Festival has implemented regulations regarding booth signage and flags.
All menus and pricing are to be prominently displayed during the Festival. Menus and pricing are to be submitted for approval with the application. No changes to the menus or pricing are permitted after initial application submission.
Electricity, Water, Trash/Waste
Our ability to provide you with all the resources you need to operate your concession means that we need to have the information before you arrive to set up. If the information we receive is not correct, it will delay getting you set up, it might mean that we can’t provide you with what you need, or might mean additional fees in order to get you started.
CLICK HERE to see a sample Vendor and Sponsor Information Sheet required for the Festival and City of Virginia Beach. This is just for reference, and not meant for actual use at this time.
CLICK HERE for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Chart for your reference. If you are still unable to determine your plug, we will try to assist.
The Neptune Festival does not sell bagged ice. There are multiple stores throughout the Virginia Beach Oceanfront that sell ice.
If selected for the festival, ALL VENDORS, NON-PROFITS, AND EXHIBITORS are required to maintain a comprehensive public liability insurance policy for personal injury or death, and for property damage occasioned by reason of the operations conducted by Vendor on the leased premises, including products liability, with a minimum combined limit of $1,000,000; said policy to include Virginia Beach Events Unlimited, Inc. t/a Virginia Beach Neptune Festival and the City of Virginia Beach as additional insureds. Vendor shall furnish evidence of said coverage by and with an insurance company licensed to do business in the Commonwealth of Virginia, evidencing effective dates as 9-24-2021 through 9-26-2021.
A Certificate of Insurance shall be registered in Vendor's name as it appears on all documents submitted to the Festival Management. Without the Certificate of Insurance on file, you will not be able to be a part of the Festival.
Temporary Virginia Beach Business License and Taxes
Volunteer Voucher Program
The Volunteers of the Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend are one the most vital components to making the weekend successful. The Volunteer Voucher Program is geared towards food vendors. We request that you prominently display a "volunteer voucher accepted here" sign (provided by Neptune Festival) at your booth. A volunteer will bring a voucher that is good for a menu item(s) of your choosing (ex. hot dog, funnel cake, hamburger, BBQ, smoothie, beverage, dessert, etc.). Please provide a minimum of 2 menu options for the program. You will retain the vouchers and return them to the Neptune Festival Office by October 17, 2021, and we will send you a reimbursement check for $5.00 for each voucher received. We thank you for your participation in advance.
Pre-Festival Vendor Meeting
There will be a mandatory pre-Festival Vendor Meeting held on Thursday, September 23, 2021. The meeting will begin at 7:00PM, and will take place in the Festival Operations Tent located in the Breaker's Hotel parking lot on 15th Street & Atlantic Avenue. Onsite parking is not available for the meeting.
We will sell vendor Neptune Festival t-shirts for $10.00 (sizes S-XXXL). Shirts must be requested and paid for by July 16, 2021 to receive a discount. Vendor t-shirts will not be sold on-site. Payments can be made via Visa/MasterCard, Check or Money Order. Checks should be made out to "Virginia Beach Neptune Festival". Shirts will be distributed upon arrival at the Drive-On Parking Lot and at the Vendor Meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2021.