Dear Food Vendors,

Taste of Dubuque continues to be a highly popular event in the Tri-State area, and the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is looking to build upon previous years’ success with your involvement and participation. As a reminder, proceeds from this event support the mission of the Museum & Aquarium to inspire stewardship by creating experiences where history and rivers come alive. If you have any interest in learning more about our non-profit work, please let us know.

A few changes have been made to the vendor form since last year, so please read the document carefully.

2018 General Event Information

  • Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018
  • Time: 5 PM – 10:30 PM with vendors ready to serve by 4:30 PM
  • Location: Parking lot in front of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, 350 E. 3rd, Dubuque, IA 52001

2018 Vendor Fees

  • Early bird rate of $200.00 is available for vendors registered and paid by May 31st.
  • Registrations received after May 31st will be charged a rate of $250.00.
  • Registrations received after June 7th cannot be guaranteed inclusion in event promotions.


2018 Vendor Requirements

If a vendor is in violation of one or more of these requirements, they will forfeit their ability to participate in the awards portion of the evening.

  • Absolutely NO Styrofoam containers/cups/plates allowed in deference to the institution’s environmental stewardship efforts.
  • Vendors MUST offer a sample-sized portion (a “Taste”) for $2.00 or less.
  • Food vendors MUST have change on hand. The Museum & Aquarium, utilizing a public lot, cannot guarantee Wi-Fi availability to vendors.
  • Any dish submitted for judging MUST be on the menu for guests.
  • The number of food vendors is capped at 17. First come, first serve. Vendor status is secured with payment of vendor fee in full, proof of Temporary Food Permit from Dubuque Health Services, completed Hold Harmless Waiver, and certificate of insurance.
  • The setup and tear down rules MUST be followed. The safety of our guests is our top priority.

In addition to forfeiting their ability to participate in the awards portion of the evening, anyone not following these rules will be block from participation the following year.

Space: Food vendor space will be a 15’ x 20’ hard surfaced space. Vendors are responsible for their own TENTS, TABLES, CHAIRS, and TRASH RECEPTACLES. Use of Taste’s trash receptacles are for the public’s use only. FREE STANDING TENTS ONLY, NO STAKES. You may have a total of two tents in your vendor space.

Acceptable Payment: Vendors are responsible for their accepted method of payment, i.e. credit cards, checks, cash. It is the vendors’ responsibility to ensure they have enough change on hand for the evening, and the Museum & Aquarium cannot guarantee change for vendors. Vendors retains all proceeds from items sold.

Electricity: If electricity is needed, please provide details in the space provided further below in the document. Note: One roaster takes two plugins (one outlet box). Only two outlets (four plugins) allowed per vendor. Grills = One outlet box/two plugins. Generators will be allowed ONLY if quiet running.

Menu: You will be required to display your Taste menu as listed below.

Beverages: As a reminder, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is the sole vendor of beverages. Beverage sales are NOT PERMITTED by vendors.

Setup: Setup begins any time after 10 AM on event day.

I understand setup must be completed and all vehicles removed from the site by 4 PM.

Tear Down: Tear down must begin immediately after the close of the event at 10:30 PM. I understand no vehicles on site until after 10:30 PM. Vendors ARE required to clean up their immediate area before leaving. All property must be removed by 8 AM on Friday, August 3, 2018.

  • Required Documentation

    CITY PERMIT: Temporary Food Permits must be obtained and returned to: Dubuque Health Services (563-589-4181). VENDORS WITHOUT PERMITS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON SITE. Click here for permit application.

    INSURANCE: Proof of Insurance and your carrier MUST accompany your vendor fee.

    HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT: A completed waiver MUST accompany your vendor fee. Download the Hold Harmless Waiver
  • Vendors are only provided up to two outlet boxes (four total plugins). Due to load, one roaster or one grill requires one outlet box. Generators are allowed ONLY if quiet running.
  • Menu

    Taste of Dubuque has become one of the most popular and celebrated festivals in the Tri-state area. This event has been designed for people to enjoy a variety of food from local vendors. The word “Taste” offers a sampling of food items, not full menu items. Taste samples must be available throughout the duration of the event.

    Please fill in your complete menu below. Your menu will not be able to change once this form is submitted. Only the Taste of Dubuque committee will have the authority to change menu items.

    The “Taste” portions ARE REQUIRED and may not be more than $2.00.
    Requirements are for the health and safety of guests and for compliance with the City of Dubuque. Failure to agree with or comply with any of the above statements will nullify your application and potentially restrict participation in the future.
  • Vendor fees, hold harmless waivers, and certificate of insurance can be dropped off or mailed to:
    National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
    Attn: Mark Girardy, Taste of Dubuque
    350 E. 3rd Street
    Dubuque, IA 52001

    For more information about the application:
    Contact Mark Girardy at the Museum & Aquarium
    563-557-9545 ext. 275 or

    For more information on the City of Dubuque's Temporary Food Establishment Permit:
    Contact City of Dubuque Health Services Department 563-589-4181.