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Farmers Markets & Other Special Events

Farmers Markets & Other Special Events

A Special Event is an organized event or celebration held more than three times a year, including regularly scheduled series of events at venues such as sporting arenas, concert halls, flea markets, street fairs, and farmers’ markets. Vendors operating under a special events license set up their fixtures and equipment prior to the event; then dismantle the operation and return all fixtures and equipment to their commissary at the end of each event.

Vendor Licensing

Vendors selling food at local Farmers Markets, ongoing street fairs, and similar recurring gatherings may be required to obtain a license and follow the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations.

Types of Licenses to Operate at a Special Event

  • Mobile Unit License Application (food trucks, trailers, and pushcarts)
  • Special Event License (food operation in which equipment is not physically mounted to one unit)
    • Special event licensees might not be approved for operations in counties outside of Boulder County. For more information, check with the public health department responsible for licensing retail food operations in each jurisdiction where the events will take place.
    • Special Event Licensing Guidelines

Vendors Exempt from Licensing

  • Selling honey-in-the-comb and uncut fruits and vegetables (such as apples, carrots, uncut leafy greens, mixed and micro greens, melons, radishes, stalk celery, stalk broccoli, strawberries, beans dried on the vine).
  • Selling commercially packaged, non-potentially hazardous food (in unopened hermetically sealed containers that are commercially processed to achieve and maintain commercial sterility under conditions of non-refrigerated storage and distribution), such as baked goods, candy, cider, tea, dry pasta, jerky, pickles, salsa*, sauces*, dry seasoning, wine, coffee in original packaging.
    • Note: the products are obtained from a licensed/registered wholesale operation and meet labeling requirements.
    • * Commercially packaged foods that are proven non-potentially hazardous through product analysis and approval.
  • Cottage Food Vendors (see Colorado Cottage Food Act) must meet the following requirements
    • Person producing food has fulfilled training requirement and sells directly to consumer
    • Foods (except for raw, uncut fruits and vegetables) must be packaged and have an affixed label that meets requirements of the act
    • The vendor is in compliance with all requirements stipulated in the Cottage Foods Act

Learn about Prepackaged Food


Samples are considered to be “a bite or a swallow” and even though they are small in quantity it is still very important to follow good food handling practices and to serve safe food.

Safe Harvesting Practices

At each stage of the food chain, from the producer to the consumer, food safety strategies can be followed to minimize contamination and help lower the risk of foodborne illness.

Safety & Propane Tanks

Contact Us

Food Safety Program

Main: 303-441-1564
Submit a question


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