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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Opportunities for Food Vendors

Share your passion with Portland!

Summer Free For All offers diverse music from around the world, family-friendly movies, and summer fun in Portland Parks. Producing these special events is possible through partnerships with a variety of local food vendors that allows us to enrich the cultural fabric of our city. We are looking to contract with a wide range of culinary types - that could mean you!

How It Works

The following is provided by Portland Parks & Recreation for Summer Free For All events:

  • 10x10 vending area
  • Park permits and noise variances
  • Portable restrooms

The following needs to be provided by each vendor:

  • Power source
  • Trash receptacle and trash disposal
  • Waste water disposal
  • Compliance with all current city, county, and state health department regulations

If accepted, the following needs to be provided by each vendor:

  • A Certificate of Liability Insurance, naming Portland Parks and Recreation/Summer Free For All as an additional insured. Specific insurance requirements will be provided upon acceptance.
  • Vendor fee of $50 per event

Please note that specific permits are required to serve food to the general public at special events. Existing mobile food carts have separate requirements from non-mobile businesses seeking to set up a tent and serve food (known as “Temporary Restaurant Operators”). Please make yourself familiar with the different types of permits at Multnomah County Health Inspection and Licensing website.

Additionally, the use of propane requires a separate license from Portland Fire & Rescue. You can find more information about the ‘Portable Propane Devices Permit’ at their Permits & Inspections website.

What should I offer?
We have found that simple, quick menus work the best: “grab-and-go" foods, light meals/appetizers, snacks, and desserts. In addition, to best serve the whole community, we ask that you agree to sell at least one food item at a $5 price point or less. This can be a smaller portion of an existing menu item. However, this item cannot be a bag of chips, soda, or another beverage. Please contact Summer Free For All if you have any questions.

Sustainable Packaging
To comply with the City's sustainability policies, concessionaires much follow these guidelines: 

  • No Styrofoam—Concessionaires shall not serve or package food in products made of polystyrene foam. Polystyrene foam is often called Styrofoam, but there are many brands of these foam containers, all of which are included in this ban. (Polystyrene policy
  • No plastic bags—Concessionaires shall not provide plastic bags to customers. Paper bags are allowed, and must be made with at least 40% post-consumer recycled fiber. (Bag policy)
  • Available by request only—Concessionaires shall not automatically provide straws, stirrers, utensils, or individually packaged condiments with a customer’s order. Straws, stirrers, and condiments can only be provided upon customer request. Utensils may be offered in a self-service area. (Single-Use Plastics Reduction Policy)

In addition, we recommend the following best practices to reduce packaging waste:

  • Provide condiments in bulk dispensers for customers’ use
  • Offer napkins and lids only on request

Cancellation Policy

Our audio-visual equipment is very sensitive to heat and moisture. When it rains or is excessively hot, we often have to cancel events. If we must cancel the event, here is what you can expect:

  • Staff will contact you by 2:00pm the day of the event (or earlier if possible).
  • Your invoice will be adjusted to reflect the cancellation.
  • We will attempt to reschedule you at a future event, if possible.

Event Application and Timelines

May 1, 2020 - Applications due
May 15, 2020 - Acceptance notifications
June 22, 2020 - First payment due (50% of invoice)
September 11, 2020 - Second payment due (remainder of invoice)

Summer Free For All often receives more vendor applications than can be accommodated in our summer schedule. This application does not guarantee selection. Our vendor selection is community-driven and community-focused. We strive to keep our selection process fair, transparent, and consistent. All vendors are selected based on interest and input directly from our community partners. Occasionally, we will present vendors who have not applied, but have been specifically requested by the community.

Vendor applications are due by May 1, 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Summer Free For All program start?
Summer Free For All begins in early July and ends in early September, with events taking place almost every night of the week.

How many people do you expect at each event?
We expect between 300 and 1,500 people at each event, depending on the park size and the type of event.

When do events begin?
All events begin at 6:30pm, with setup beginning at 4:30pm.

How long do I need to stay?
Vendors are required to stay until the musical entertainment has ended at 8:30pm. For movie events, vendors may continue to operate past 8:30pm if equipped to operate after dark, with permission from Summer Free For All. Please note: if you choose to operate past 8:30pm at a movie event, we ask that you remain onsite until the completion of the movie.

How many food vendors are at each event?
We schedule 1-3 food vendors for each event according to our expected attendance numbers and the size of the park.

How do I enter and exit the park? 
Vendors will be sent a map of the park prior to the event indicating entrance and exit points. Please note: only enter or exit a park with a designated escort from Parks. Do not enter or exit a park without an escort

What should I offer?
We leave these decisions up to each food vendor but we have found that “grab-and-go" foods, light meals/appetizers, snacks, and desserts often sell well.

Questions about vending at Summer Free For All events   |   503-823-5059

Vendor applications are due by May 1, 2020.