Exhibitor Priorities and Timeline


The Madison Heritage Arts Festival (MHAF) has its roots in the very local arts and crafts of the mountains of Madison County, North Carolina. These crafts are a natural complement to the Old Time Music tradition celebrated by the Bascom Lamar Lunsford ‘Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival which began in 1967 on the campus of Mars Hill University (then College.) Both festivals have run concurrently and along side of one another on the first Saturday of October since 1995.

To honor that tradition, the MHAF committee gives Artist Priority to individual artists and crafters. Applications from potential Exhibitors are sorted by the following categories:

  • Corner booths are $60 (limited), Standard booths $50
  • Returning Artists or Crafters from the previous year may select their prior year’s booth space if the application is received by an established deadline
  • Individual or Group Artists or Crafters. Artist/Crafters must attest to the originality of the items presented in their booth for sale. Collaborative items such as quilts also qualify to be considered in this category. This category includes both Artists/Crafters who are new to this festival and any Returning artists who missed the earlier deadline.
  • NonProfit Food Vendors. Only a certain number of food booths are available each year. Madison County-based groups have priority and can be guaranteed their booth if the application is received by the established deadline
  • NonProfit groups or associations who do not sell, but provide informational materials about their mission or community service
  • All other entities, including businesses, wishing to disseminate information about their products. These groups may not offer items for day-of sales


  • June: Applications to Exhibit begin
  • June 30: Deadline for returning Exhibitors to secure the same booth as last year. Applications received after this date will be evaluated with all others
  • August 15: Deadline for Artist/Crafters to register with Artist Priority
  • August 16: Distribution of remaining booth spaces to Nonprofits and Businesses on the waiting list. Artist Priority no longer applies
  • August 25: All booth assignments are certified and Exhibitors notified.
  • Applications will continue to be accepted until all booth spaces are assigned.
  • Mid-September: Official set-up packet is sent to Exhibitors including Load-In and Load-Out instructions
  • Friday afternoon before the Festival: Set-up may begin on College Street at 2:00 PM. Exception: booth spaces in front of Papa Nick’s and directly across the street may not set up until Saturday morning
  • 7:30AM, Saturday: Setup may begin
  • 10:00 AM, Saturday: Festival opens
  • 4:00 PM, Saturday: Festival ends. Breakdown and Load-Out may begin.