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Frequently Asked Questions


Can I give away food at my table or tent?

Yes, but it must be prepackaged and consumable at the event. If you would like to prepare and serve unpackaged food on site, you must apply for a permit. Please email for details.

Can I use the space in front of my table to display items?  
If you only purchased a table, you are restricted to the tabletop. If you would like to use the space in front of a table for display or games, please purchase a tent.

Can I give away swag items at my table or tent?

Yes, but please note that giveaways must either be consumable or functional to meet National Park Service guidelines. They can be branded with your co-op’s logo, but cannot be solely promotional. Examples of appropriate give aways include: pre-packaged food, hats, water bottles, chapstick, sunscreen or other outdoor useful item, frisbee or other mall activity game, etc. If you have a question about a specific give-away item, please email for details.

Can I sell food at my table or tent?
No, NCBA CLUSA’s permit does not allow sponsors or participants to sell food. 

Can I host a wine and cheese tasting or serve co-op brews at my booth?

You can serve cheese, but alcohol is not permitted on the grounds of the National Mall.

Can a group of co-ops share a table or tent space?

In a tent, yes. For a table, no. We want the unique nature of each co-op to have enough space to express themselves in the best way possible.

What flexibility do I have in setting up my display table or tent?  

For both tables and tents you are free to set up a display that best represents your co-op within that designated space. We encourage interactive, public-facing activities!

Signage and giveaway restrictions apply (see above and below). Remember, this is an event that is open to the public so all the items on display need to follow copyright and trademark laws. You may use media such as monitors, DVD players, computers, tablets, etc., but those items will need to be secured at the end of each day. While there will be a security presence after hours, NCBA CLUSA is not responsible for the loss or functionality of items within the booth or table spaces. 

Can I attend without purchasing a table or booth?

Yes, attendance is free and encouraged!

What kind of signs can I display at my table or booth?

The National Parks Service will review all signage prior to the event to ensure it meets their requirements. Sponsor recognition is allowed on signage, but must be displayed at a third of the font size of the event name. Look for full signage guidelines coming soon. 

Will there be volunteers on site during set up and tear down to help me with my table or tent space, if needed?

Yes, NCBA CLUSA volunteers will be on hand throughout the event

When can I set up my table or tent space?
Set up starts Friday September 29th. The Co-op Festival will take place September 30-October 1 over the weekend Saturday-Sunday (10am-4pm) with set up available on Friday and tear down available on Monday. For smaller exhibits, set up and tear down can take place early Saturday (9am) and late afternoon Sunday after the event.

Where can I unload and load display items for my table or tent space? 

There is an access point near the event space to Washington Monument grounds. Full details will be provided for event participants closer to the date.


Can I attend without purchasing a table or booth?

Yes, attendance is free and encouraged! You can also help support the Co-op Festival by sponsoring on an individual level.

Will there be food?

Many of our sponsors will be giving away product samples at their tables. In addition, food will be available in designated areas to be determined.

Is this a family-friendly event?

Yes, there will be activities for young children on site, including a Kids Zone! NCBA CLUSA will also offer a reunification tent on site staffed by a detective to facilitate family reunification.

Will there be entertainment?
Yes, NCBA CLUSA has secured radio entertainment personalities to play music on Saturday and Sunday. WASH FM will also provide a street team to entertain passersby.

What facilities will be on site?

There will be portable restrooms on site. Please note that the National Mall space is outdoors and exposed to sun, wind, ambient temperature and precipitation. Plan to drink plenty of water throughout the day, rest in the shade and protect yourself from the sun.

Will there be first aid on site?

Yes, there will be a dedicated first aid tent on site. NCBA CLUSA also has a health and medical safety plan in place that includes emergency operations in the event of terrorism, shelter in place or inclement weather.

Where can I park?

On-street parking in the busiest areas of the city is restricted during morning and evening rush hours (Monday through Friday, 7 – 9:30 a.m. and 4 – 6:30 p.m.). There are many free parking spaces near the National Mall along Constitution Ave. and Independence Ave., and along Madison and Jefferson Drives in front of the Smithsonian museums, but they usually fill quickly. Keep in mind that most of the free on-street parking is restricted to two hours.

Click here for a map and directions to the National Mall.

The best way to get around the downtown area and especially around the National Mall area is to take advantage of public transportation. If you choose to park in a parking garage or public parking lot in the downtown area, you should expect a healthy walk to the Washington Monument grounds.

Is the event Metro accessible?

Yes, Smithsonian metro station is the nearest, but several other stations on the Red, Silver, Blue and Orange lines are within a walkable distance. Visit WMATA for information on public transit options, rates and schedules.

Can I bring Fido?
Yes, but dogs must be leashed at all times on the National Mall.