The 49th Annual CenterFest is the longest running outdoor juried arts festival in North Carolina. The festival boasts juried visual artists from near and far, great entertainment, lots of food and fun, and educational activities for kids. Located in Downtown Durham's vibrant city center district, CenterFest performers, artists and visitors will enjoy a setting filled with restaurants, shops and studios: a perfect space for an event that will bring 30,000+ visitors over the weekend. CenterFest 2024 will include several performance stages showcasing music, dance, street performers, and community groups.
CenterFest will be held in downtown Durham on:
Saturday, September 21 - 6 a.m. - 9 a.m. (Set-up), 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Festival Hours)  
Sunday, September 22 - 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. (Set-up), 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Festival Hours)


  • A limited number of booth spaces will be available to nonprofits.
  • Applicants must be 501 (c) 3 not for profit organizations and must submit their tax-ID # and upload IRS Determination Letter on the application. This will be used and verified as proof of non-profit status from the IRS Department of Treasury.
  • Nonprofit applicants who are invited to participate in CenterFest will be assigned a (single) 10x10' booth space (tent, table, and chairs available for additional fee)
  • Placement will be decided by the CenterFest Committee.
  • Items permitted for sale in booths located within the festival include rummage items and specialty items (hats, stickers, etc.).
  • Food/beverage sales, including home-baked items, are NOT permitted.  Food/beverage items may not be given away. CenterFest retains exclusive vending rights for beverages.
  • CenterFest souvenir items may not be sold or given away. CenterFest retains exclusive vending rights for souvenir items, face painting, and T-shirts.
  • Arts and Crafts sales are also prohibited.
  • Information about your nonprofit may be freely distributed to festival participants but only from within your actual booth space. Distribution of information outside of your booth space or in any festival thoroughfare is strictly prohibited. Failure to comply will result in the participant being asked to leave the festival.
  • Organizations must participate on both days of the festival. If booth is abandoned, it will be shut down.
  • Sound level of music, if applicable and which must be approved by the CenterFest Committee, must be contained to booth area.
  • All tent/display units must be of sound construction and must not obstruct others. You and your volunteers are responsible for securing your space overnight. All equipment and supplies must be contained within the dimensions of the space. Nothing may be hung on trees or affixed to building structures in such a way as to damage the surfaces.
  • All sales and activity prices are subject to review and must be approved in advance of the festival. A contract will be sent to all accepted nonprofits and will include which items and pricing were approved by the Committee.

If more applications are received than spaces are available, preference will be given to applicants which:

  • Have the arts as an integral part of the organization's mission.
  • Offer an amenity to festival-goers. (Interactive activities to attract an audience)


Nonprofit Booth fees do NOT include tents, tables or chairs. They are available to rent at an additional cost. Please plan to bring your own if you are not renting through DAC. Tents are set on asphalt. Be sure to bring appropriate weights to anchor each leg.
All application fees must be paid online via ETIX at the link provided:

All fees are deposited upon receipt. Groups will be notified by July 24th of their application status. If an organization is not accepted, booth fees will be refunded at this time if applicable.

  • Applications are due no later than July 10th to be considered for CenterFest 2023.
  • All cancellations for participation must be received in writing by August 19th for a full refund of booth fees.

$25.00 - Processing Fee (all applicants must submit the processing fee. The fee is non-refundable)
$85.00 - Durham Non-Profit Booth Space (NOT in shared booth space tent; table/chairs/tent are not included)
$25.00 - Table and two chairs
$75.00 - Electrical hook up
$250.00 - 10 x 10' tent rental (delivered & assemble)


  • All vehicles MUST be removed from the festival site area by 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 and by 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22. Items may be carried to booths after these times.
  • Uniformed security, CenterFest staff and volunteers will be on site during festival hours. Limited security will be available on Saturday night. However, you are strongly encouraged to remove valuable property and lock down vending areas. Durham Arts Council assumes no responsibility for theft, loss, or damage to any signage, product, display equipment or property.

CenterFest is a “rain or shine” event, no rain dates! Participants should be prepared to continue in the case of light rain. In the case of heavy rain, the CenterFest Committee will consider electrical hazards, logistical requirements, concessionaires’ needs, and the requirements of performing artists in making any decision about suspension or cancellation of any part or all of the festival. No refunds will be made due to inclement weather or a participant’s decision to leave before the end.

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