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MerleFest 2014 Vendor Applications Now Being Accepted
 Shoppes at MerleFest 2012MerleFest, presented by Lowe’s and slated for April 24-27, 2014, is now soliciting applications from vendors and artisans interested in participating in the 2014 festival.

"MerleFest prides itself on presenting vendors and artisans offering unique goods and items you don't see every day," says Melissa Stanley, Events Logistics Specialist for MerleFest. "In fact, our guests are curious each year to see what vendors are here and what treasures they might find. The distinctive items available in The Shoppes are things that you can't find in most retail establishments. Our challenge is to keep the surprises coming for our MerleFest shoppers."

MerleFest is accepting applications from vendors and retail merchants for The Shoppes at MerleFest and from demonstrating artisans and crafts persons for the Heritage Crafts tent. These participants benefit from the opportunity to take part at MerleFest. They help a nonprofit organization raise funds for Wilkes Community College as well as helping the overall community impact of the festival.

Anyone interested in participating in The Shoppes at MerleFest or the Heritage Crafts area should visit www.merlefest.org/vendors/ to review the rules and guidelines for vendors and to download an application. This website offers all information pertinent to vendor participation. MerleFest will accept applications through January 15, 2014. A selection committee reviews all applications and makes the selections. Acceptance letters will be mailed to selected vendors in February 2014.

"Many of our vendors come back year after year, so there is camaraderie all around," says Stanley. "Most of the vendors camp together near their booths, and at night they talk about the various places, festivals and events in which they participate. They help one another and share information on opportunities beyond MerleFest. We have one vendor, Sweet Springs Hammock from Sweet Springs, W.Va., that has participated every year since the inception of The Shoppes at MerleFest."

All of The Shoppes are set up on pavement. Located immediately through the Entrance Gate, most of the paying public must walk through The Shoppes to get to the main stage and walk back through The Shoppes when exiting. This greatly increases the foot traffic that vendors have visiting their booths.

"MerleFest always aims to provide a unique shopping experience by inviting vendors with diverse product selection. I strongly encourage anyone with inimitable, unusual or highly sought after merchandise to consider participating in MerleFest 2014," says Stanley. "This year marks our 27th year and is sure to deliver the MerleFest music, moments and memories that we've all come to love."

Tickets for MerleFest 2014 go on sale November 12 and can be purchased at www.merlefest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. An early bird ticket discount is available through March 10, 2014. 

MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of the late American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 90 artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.