Festival related vendors need permit

Published 10:31 am Friday, July 15, 2011

MURFREESBORO — Vendors who come for the Watermelon Festival will now need a permit to conduct their business within town limits.

On Tuesday, the Murfreesboro Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance specifically for vendors to adhere by during the time of the festival. The decision came after a public hearing on the issue.

The ordinance states, “It shall be unlawful during the period of the Watermelon Festival for any person, firm or corporation to sell food, beverages, souvenir items or other concessions within the town without first securing a permit approved and issued by the Festival Committee for such sales, except that permits shall not be required for a business in existence within the town 30 days prior to the beginning of the Watermelon Festival for the year for which permits are being issued, and selling items within their normal course of business in a permanent structure within the town limits.”

It further states permits shall be required for any business in existence prior to the 30 day period if the business seeks to sell any items outside of its permanent structure.

The Watermelon Festival Committee will issue the permits for use within the festival grounds only and the committee will remit to the town a sum to be determined annually for those permitted within festival grounds. 

Vendors will need to make out a permit application and submit it to the Festival Committee for review and approval. Those applications will be reviewed and then disposition will be made within the specified time frame provided for by festival policy governing concessions.

According to the ordinance, each application will be reviewed individually by the committee and priority will be given to those who are established merchants of the town, residents of the town and those applicants whose plans for concession sales seem to best serve visitors and participants, as well as enhance the festival activities.

The committee will also limit those permits which are given for concession sales to a number which will provide for adequate food, beverage, souvenirs and other concession services without causing confusion and overcrowding during the celebration. Vendors will also need to display their permit.

Those who are in violation of the ordinance face a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by a fine not to exceed $500. Each day’s violation will constitute a separate offense.