Participants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ’S by category can be found within the category pages here:

Instructions for the Day of the Event (pass-on to all attending staff)


Who do I make the check out to?

All checks should be made payable to The “Solano Avenue Association”.

When will my check be deposited?

Checks for most categories are cashed shortly after your registration is processed. (However it is not unusual for a check to remain un-deposited for a month, depending on registration activity.) For arts/crafters, your ($10) “jury fee” check is deposited once we receive your application as well, however the check for your participation fee will not be cashed until after the “jurying” takes place in late June (after the application deadline on June 15th).

Will you take a Travelers Check?

It depends on who issued it and how close we are to the actual event.

Do you take personal checks?

Yes, however please add/note the business name or organization on the face – if applicable.

When do the performers get paid?

Checks go out immediately after the event.

How can I get an invoice and/or IRS W-9 document?

Contact the Association by emailing us at

I am confused, who pays for “jury fees”?

Arts and Crafters only.

I am registering for multiple categories; do we need separate checks?

No. Combine all payments – except crafter “jury” fees.

Is there a “jury” fee for the “commercial – art activity” category?

No. Only Arts and Crafts.

I am a crafter wanting two booths, do I have to pay two/double jury fees?


What other forms of payment do you accept?

We have the capability of accepting Paypal; other options can be discussed on an individual basis

Envelopes and Physical Mail

Who needs to send in an envelope?

Everyone except performers and parade participants.

- Performers who wish to have items returned to them must include a SASE

- Parade Participants we will keep in touch through email

What about Crafters?

Arts and craft participants need to send in one self addressed, stamped envelope, and an additional SASE if – if you want items returned.

What size envelopes should we include?

It really doesn’t matter, however “invitation” size may be too small.

What about the postcard envelope?

For Solano Stroll Postcards, six by ten inch “manilas” work best. It really depends on how many you are requesting.

What is the full / last four digits of your Zip Code?


Do you accept registered / signature required mail / packages?

Yes. However packages cannot be hand delivered.

Where can I hand-deliver my application?

Our [1563] address is a “UPS store” and they cannot accept mail “over the counter”. We ask that you send in your application via the United States Postal Service.

The Application

When do you begin accepting applications?

April 16th annually; deadlines depend on the participation category.

How do I know if you still have space and accepting registration?

If the application form is on-line and your category information does not indicate an “at capacity” message, please feel free to register.

Where can I hand-deliver my application?

Our [1563] address is a “UPS store” and they cannot accept mail “over the counter”. We ask that you send in your application via the United States Postal Service.

Where can I pick-up an application?

The Solano Avenue Association does not have a physical address. Our 1563 Solano Avenue Address is a “UPS Store”. Applications become available on-line April 16th – annually. If you need a “physical” application please let us know.

What category are “martial artists” and similar groups?

Category 04 “Commercial – Art Activity”. We realize that you will need a little extra space for mats; if it is “excessive” we may have to charge an additional fee. Please indicate the amount of mat-space you are requesting on your application. Groups that need “scheduled” displays/presentations and/or will require the use of amplified sound should also fill-out an Entertainers Application. Contact us for details.

I am a face-Painter / Henna artists, what category am I?

Category 04 “Commercial – Art Activity”.

Do I have to send a copy of my State Sellers Permit every year?

Yes, we do not keep the copies on-file for security and logistical reasons.

Who can have electricity and how does it work?

Anyone can request electricity except Arts and Crafters. Outlet locations are mainly in Albany and up a 12′ pole. Stroll volunteers cannot help you access it, but with a small stool you should be okay. We “preserve” most electrical availability for the bands that require it to perform.

What about the section of the application that deals with [same] location?

(Page 02 – optional location) Basically if you have attended the Solano Avenue Stroll previously and want to be in the same location, simply note “same location as last year” inside the box. If you are a first-time participant we’ll give you the best possible spot. If you have any other preferences, please note them in the box – such as you do not want to be next to a band or barbeque; close to a restroom; or any other special requests. We will try and honor them.

How should it read on the insurance certificate?

Additional Insured: “The City of Albany and Berkeley (CA), the Solano Avenue Association, and their officers, employees, and agents are named as additional insured’s for purposes of the September xx, 20xx Solano Avenue Stroll event.”

Who needs insurance?

Only participants who are selling/serving food items and or hosting physical activities; crafters, commercial vendors and performers do not need insurance certificates.

Can my insurance agent/carrier send you the certificate directly?

Yes, we understand that some certificates will come directly from your agent/carrier and proof of insurance may not be included with your application. Ideally we would prefer to receive your insurance certificate before we receive your application.

When should I apply / how soon?

As soon as you can! With the exception of the parade; performers and crafters (who have to be reviewed together) the non-profit, food and commercial booths are “first come / first serve” and we typically book to capacity before event deadlines. Register early to secure your favorite location or “lock-out” a vendor type. Late applicants may find themselves in less desirable locations such as next to loud music or smoking barbeque grills.

I am with a non-profit agency / commercial registrant and I wish to have performances (dance, music, singing etc.) at my booth, should I apply as an entertainer also?

It depends. Do you wish to have amplified sound? If so, how loud / how frequent, and what would the duration of the performances be? Contact us regarding your particular scenario and we will be as accommodating as possible.

My organization has two names; which should we use? Can we use both?

Yes and no. Taking overall text length into consideration for publications; we typically do not include “alternate” organizations names. Non-profits must use their licensed/registered organization name as listed under “GuideStar” ( We also discourage booth sharing of any kind.

Why do I have to send physical materials (photos / CDs / DVDs) with my registration; why can’t I just send you a link to my website or email you photos?

The selection for music and crafter “jurying” is essentially done in a circle of people (the Solano Avenue Association voluntary Board of Directors), passing around your registration packets. Because of the number of participants, having information “scattered” is not practical, and in the case of technology failure (via lost emails, failed memory devices, dead laptop batteries and more) it is best that we have physical materials from you “in-hand” during the screening process. (The exception being performers who apply through Sonicbids.)

We discourage booth sharing of any kind.

Political parties/candidates and other publicly “accountable” agencies should make special note of this.


Can we perform “massages” at our booth?

Yes, but please make it clear in your application that you plan to do so (especially if your massages are free).

Where is the SAA?

The Solano Avenue Association does not have a physical address. Our 1563 Solano Avenue Address is a “UPS Store” that cannot (by Federal Law) accept mail or any other documents by-hand from the public.

I am a merchant on/near Solano Avenue and would like to participate at the Solano Avenue Stroll, what do I do?

You are in the wrong place! You want to become a member of the Solano Avenue Association and that information can be found here

We discourage booth sharing of any kind.

Political parties/candidates and other publicly “accountable” agencies should make special note of this.

Do you have a waiting list or stand-by list for cancellations?

Yes and the important thing is for you to confirm by email, as we use the [send] date/time as your order on any list we develop. Please add yourself to the list by sending us an email .

Do you reserve/hold spaces?

No. We do not “reserve” spaces and placement at the Stroll is “first come, first serve”. We have no way of anticipating if you want the same space so apply as early as possible if you have a particular location at the event that you wish to secure. We try and provide you with either the same space or close to it when we can. We want your old customers to find you; at the same time we have to stir things up occasionally to keep the event from becoming stale.

How many vendor types do you have in each category?

Two (2) to prevent saturation; in some cases (like food vendors) some exceptions can be applied. As a general rule we limit vendor types.

After Your Registration is Sent In and Instructions for the Day of the Event (pass-on to all attending staff)


What happens after I have applied? When do I know what is happening? What Next?

We begin accepting registration every year on April 16th. Then in

May: We send out an email mid-month to confirm that we have your application and all is well.

June: We send out an email mid-month to confirm that we have your application and all is well.

June: We perform the “jurying” for the Arts and Crafts applicants and review the performers in late June, then confirm your participation VIA email as soon as possible.

In July we will “map out” the Avenue and get any documents that you need out to you in the US Mail, including performance schedules, health department permits, the map illustrating your physical location on the Avenue, and/or any other necessary documents relative to your participation at the event.

What is “mapping the Avenue” / how are things laid out?

Imagine placing almost 500 vendors and performers along a one-mile stretch of street and addressing the needs of almost 250 Solano Avenue Association members who are retailers, restaurants and service professionals on Solano already, all of whom have specific needs and requests to be addressed. The Solano Avenue Stroll includes a five-block “arts and crafts” section with only hand-made products for sale. Most requests to be in between Curtis and Ventura are turned-down as this is the crafters section. Other official divisions include the “Green Zone” (Colusa and The alameda) and the “Stage Door” (Colusa and Fresno Streets). Un-official divisions include but are not limited to “clusters” focusing on education; elder care (Tulare and Ensenada); “Jewish” organizations (Ventura and Tulare); pets (at Tacoma) and you may find other groups aligned together. This is another reason why it is important for you to describe your organization in the registration process so we can better place you at the event (while avoiding potential conflicts). Sometimes the organization name alone simply does not do the trick. We provide commercial vendors with corner spaces as often as possible and try to cluster them together. Commercial vendors have priority just below existing SAA members and event sponsors.

Can I get an “electronic” version of my map (so I can email it easily)?

Yes, PDF versions of your placement map are available.

I have two versions of my map, how do I know which one is right?

There is a version time/date stamp on the right of each map. You can also refer to the master participants list on the Solano Avenue Stroll homepage.

I did not get the spot that I asked for / the space is not what I asked for – why not?

The number one reason for this is that you applied later in the registration process and we were not able to accommodate your needs; also see the “mapping” process above. If you think there has been an error, please contact us asap.

What is the deal with the Solano Avenue Stroll program?

Although you are already part of the official “program” and listed as such in many publications; the Bay Area Newsgroup (which includes many papers) manages additional advertising within the “official” printed program. It is not our intention to “nickel and dime you”, in fact the Association subsidizes the cost to keep the advertising rates reasonable.

What is the story behind the postcards?

We offer free (almost, you provide postage) postcards with the Solano Stroll poster/artwork on one side and a blank opposite. They can be used to help promote the Stroll at a “point of sale” or you can send them to your clients prior to the event advertising your presence at the event.

When does the poster / postcards hit the street?

Precisely thirty days before the Solano Avenue Stroll. The poster is “unveiled” at the Solano Avenue Stroll kick-off party and sponsor’s reception. (This is not a public event.) You should get postcards within a day or two afterwards.

ARTS AND CRAFTERS your FAQ can be found here

ENTERTAINERS your FAQ can be found here

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