Food Vendor Application

Deadline to apply is Friday, February 18, 2022 at 5 pm EST.


Thank you for your interest in vending at the COSI Big Science Celebration in 2022. We are excited to bring this cumulating event for the COSI Science Festival to Columbus! This event will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

We are recruiting and searching for the most respected and admired food vendors the city and region has to offer. This is your chance to put your product in front of 20,000+ people. Participating vendors also have the added value of awareness through the COSI Science Festival website. We’ll only be successful if you are successful!

We have put together some general vendor information for you to review before submitting the online application. If you are selected as a 2022 COSI Big Science Celebration vendor, more comprehensive materials will be provided with the contract.

Festival Dates and Times

Saturday, May 7, 2022: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Application Timeline

Application Deadline: Friday, February 18, 2022 at 5 pm EST

Vendor Notifications: All vendors will be notified of their status by Monday, February 21st at 5 pm EST.

Booth Fees and Completed Paperwork: March 4, 2022 at 5:00 pm EST. You will forfeit your slot if you fail to do so.

Assigned Booth and Load-In Time: April 14, 2022.

Load-In: Per assigned time on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Load-Out: Per assigned time on Saturday, May 7, 2022.


Required items will include:

  • Signed contract and payment-in-full
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Extra power requests and payment for these requests
  • A copy of your 2022 Mobile Health Permit or intent for a special events permit.


Each vendor will be required to carry Commercial Liability Insurance provided by a Primary Commercial Liability or in combination with a Commercial Umbrella Liability policy in the minimum amount of $2,000,000 for Bodily Injury or Property Damage Liability Combined. The following must be named additionally insureds (excluding Workers’ Compensation): The City of Columbus, CRPD Special Events, Franklin County Historic Society DBA COSI, and CEM Events MGMT, LLC. All insurance policies must include a “Waiver of Subrogation” endorsement in favor of all additional insured listed above. A copy of this policy must be submitted to COSI with your contract.


Vendors will be required to adhere to the following regulations. During the event, each booth will be monitored for compliance.

  • Plastic bags to a minimum and Styrofoam is prohibited.
  • Serving containers and paper napkins must be compostable.
  • Cups must be #1 recyclable or compostable.
  • Focus on finger foods so cutlery is not needed. If you do use cutlery, it must be eco-friendly.
  • Avoid condiments in packets and use squeezable bottles or ‘pumps’.
  • Vendors must use non-toxic cleansers.
  • We strongly encourage sourcing all supplies and food LOCALLY.

Finally, please break down cardboard boxes before depositing them into recycling receptacles on site.


Additional Rules and Regulations

  • The Big Science Celebration is a rain or shine event and booth fees are not refundable.
  • Food vendors, you must secure a proper health permit from the Columbus Public Health Department. Begin this process no later than 30 days before the festival. Vendors are responsible for health department approved flooring if applicable. If you fail to do so and you are not allowed to vend, you will not receive a refund.
  • Booth space may not be subleased or combined with a business other than the company doing-business-as (DBA) named on the application and contract. This includes other operating business owned under the same corporation operating under a different DBA.
  • Distribution of stickers is prohibited.
  • Vendors are responsible for breaking down clean cardboard boxes and placing them in the appropriate receptacle.
  • No soliciting of festival patrons by use of bull horns, oral solicitation, customer incentives or perceived added value in exchange for business. This behavior is grounds for immediate dismissal and you will not receive a refund.
  • No motorized vehicles are permitted during event hours. We recommend using dollies, carts, etc. If pre-arranged, vendors may be able to leverage festival golf carts.
  • In order to keep the Big Science Celebration brand consistent and the festival experience seamless, COSI will design and provide front signage for tents only. Vendors may bring additional signage for the back of the booth.

Product Guidelines and Limitations

Vendors can only sell what has been approved by the festival. The other side of this is vendors cannot give away any item. So, food vendors can’t give away merch (t-shirts, hats, etc.) and merch vendors can’t give away food and water. If there is an item that we cannot permit, we will notify you before you sign the contract and pay your fees.

Vendors may sell bottled non-alcoholic beverages.  (e.g., water, soda, etc.) excluding alcohol. If approved to sell non-alcoholic, fresh coffee, tea, juices, smoothies, etc., beverages must be served in a cup.

Vendors may not sell any item with the COSI logo. Additionally, vendors may not sell any item with the name or image of any act performing at the festival. Drug paraphernalia, tobacco products, weapons or studded jewelry of any kind is also prohibited.

Food Vendors

Vendors will be allowed to offer 3-5 individually priced and unique items. Food items should allow for quick preparation in order to accommodate the large crowds. The festival’s goal is great food and service at a reasonable price.

  • Rolled roofing must be placed under all food booths. In addition, plywood and roll roofing must be placed under all grills, cooking equipment and grease/gray water containers.
  • Vendors are responsible for transporting grease, coals, and grey water to the pre-determined disposal site.
  • Cleaning of cooking equipment is to be done off site.
  • Cooking vendors must provide their own fire extinguisher approved by the Fire Department.

Space Types, Sizes, and Fees

  • 10’x10’ Space or Cart: $700
  • Food Truck: $700
  • 10’x20’ Space: $1,000

Fee includes festival tent (no side walls), counter/table, two (2) chairs, one (1) 110V 20-amp circuit (upgraded tent and/or additional power is an additional fee). As stated earlier, the festival will assign booth locations.

Fee also includes one (1) parking space. This can be used for transporting staff or storage of goods. There is a load-in area that can be used to bring in product throughout the day.

Please note that mobile trucks cannot leave event ground until load-out on Saturday evening.