Ends on March 11, 2019

Northern Spark

Northern Spark is a free, annual multidisciplinary arts festival in the Twin Cities that draws tens of thousands of Minnesotans each year. The event is produced by Northern Lights.mn; a nonprofit arts organization that creates platforms with and for artists, audiences, and partners to experiment with and experience innovative art in the public sphere.

Locations and Date

On June 14-15, 2019, Northern Spark festival will take place in three locations:  

  • Downtown East Minneapolis with programming at The Commons
  • American Indian Cultural Cooridor along Franklin Ave in Minneapolis
  •  Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in St Paul

The festival officially kicks off at 9:02 pm on June 14th and ends at 2 am. The festival will begin again the next day at 9:02 pm on June 15, 2019, and end at 2 am on June 16th, 2019.

This application is accepting food vendors for all three neighborhoods. 

Preference vendors in American Indian Cultural Corridor and Hallie Q Brown center will be given to food vendors that are Indigenous-owned or have a cultural connection to Rondo neighborhood, respectively. 


Find out more about the 2019 Northern Spark theme: We Are Here: Resilience, Renewal & Regeneration


For participating vendors, we ask for a fee of $400 for one night or $600 for two nights that will be due with the Vendor Contract.

Application and Timeline

Vendor applications are due at 4:30 pm CDT on March 11th, 2019. Vendors will be notified of acceptance no later than March 25th. Vendor contracts and payment will be due on April 23rd, 2019. More details will be provided up acceptance of your submission. If you have any questions, please contact foodtrucks@northern.lights.mn


Insurance required: Health Department Certificate and Certificate of Liability Insurance naming Northern Lights.mn as an additional insured for June 14 - 16, 2019.


Participation Guidelines

Food trucks and restaurant tents will be a festive addition to Northern Spark events. Food  providers that wish to participate in Northern Spark 2019 must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Northern Spark celebrates our local businesses and community. For 2019 we are encouraging participation by trucks and restaurant tents based in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  • Food trucks must be stationed where requested by event organizers. Trucks cannot move from their assigned locations during the event and must stay the duration of each night from set-up at 7 pm until strike at 2 am.
  • Vendors should consider sustainability when it comes to menu items as well as packaging. Vendors are not allowed to serve alcohol or any beverages in glass bottles. See more information under Zero Waste.
  • We encourage you to think healthy with your menu and consider offering healthy options for people to enjoy.
  • All food vendors must meet all applicable state and city health and safety requirements. Vendors must obtain either a Seasonal or Short Term Food Permit from the City in which they are stationed.  See more information under Food Permits.
  • All food vendors are required to provide Health Department Certificate and a Certificate of Liability Insurance naming Northern Lights.MN as additional insured.
  • Vendors will need to be self-sufficient in terms of electrical generation and water access.

Zero Waste

All vendors are being asked to comply with Zero Waste goal and be compliant with the sustainability policies for Minneapolis. This includes an event-wide ban on polystyrene (i.e. styrofoam) and plastic bags. Additionally, all food related materials (serving ware, cutlery, bowls, packaging)  need to be BPI-certified compostable. We suggest no straws, but if straws are a must, they need to be compostable. All beverage containers (cups, lids – not plastic bottles or cans) would need to be compostable OR recyclable, not both. In sum:

  • All food service ware needs to be BPI-certified compostable
  • All beverage cups/lids need to be compostable
  • No straws, if possible - if straws, only compostable straws
  • Packaged beverages must be served in reusable or recyclable containers like aluminum cans or plastics #1,2,4, and 5.

The following items may NOT be used:

  • Plastic films
  • Polystyrene lids
  • Polyethylene cups and containers

We also discourage any use of foil with food.

For more information about the Environmentally Acceptable Packaging Ordinance, visit http://www.minneapolismn.gov/health/inspections/WCMS1P-132297


Recycling and composting containers will be provided. Vendors will be responsible for maintaining zero waste practices throughout the event. It is incumbent upon participants to bring enough compostable serving products to last the entire evening.

Food Permits

Information on food permits in Minneapolis:
City of Minneapolis Licenses and Consumer Services
350 South 5th Street – Room 1C,
Minneapolis, MN 55415–1391
Phone: 612-673-2080

Mobile Food Vehicle Vendor Permit Application
Food Cart Sidewalk Vendor Permit Application

**This application does not guarantee your acceptance in Northern Spark festival. We have the right to decline applicants.