Frequently Asked Questions


Is there an admission charge?

Yes. You must have a ticket to enter the festival. Workshops will require additional tickets but Bull's Head lectures & demonstrations will be free with your admission ticket. You will also receive a reusable shopping tote bag with a few samples, a tea tasting cup and the opportunity to be a judge in the People's Cup Tea Competition! Tickets: $25 ~ Single Day Admission - your choice, Saturday or Sunday $35 ~ Two Day Admission - Saturday and Sunday $45 ~ VIP Three Day Admission - Saturday, Sunday & Monday Industry Tickets: $35 ~ Three Day Admission - Saturday, Sunday & Monday - You will need to provide proof of owning a business (or being in the management of one) in the tea or food & beverage industry in order to purchase this ticket. Services provided to the tea industry and tea educational organizations are also included in this group. Please email us for details if you have questions about whether or not you qualify for this special discounted ticket.

Is this event suitable for children?

It depends on your child. The vendor floor aisles are not suitable for strollers, though, as things can get somewhat crowded at times.

Does my child need a ticket?

In general, children under 10 do not get much from this event so there is no charge for their admission - however, they also do not receive a tote or tasting cup of their own. If you want your child under 10 to get a tote and cup, they must have an admission ticket. All children 10 and over must have an admission ticket. For workshops, any child who will participate in the activities of the workshop must have a ticket for the workshop as material needs are calculated based on number of students.

What about parking?

Wolf Point garage (not associated with the festival or with the hotel) has parking available for hotel guests (please check with the garage directly for parking cost), though we do not recommend them.There are several daily lots within walking distance of the venue. The venue is located convenient to two train stops. We strongly encourage you to take a train, an Uber, Lyft or taxi. You can also look into parking here: Spothero Iparkit More details provided by the hotel are available on our Venue page.

What if it rains or snows?

The show will go on! This event is indoors.

Is there a discounted room rate at the venue?

Yes there is. Rooms will be $169/night (plus taxes and fees). Details can be found on our Venue page.

Is there food for sale at the event?

There will be no sales of meals or full cups of tea on the vendor floor. However, the venue has a restaurant and there are many others within walking distance both inside the Merchandise Mart and outside in the surrounding neighborood.

I'm really into tea but I am not involved in the food & beverage industry. Can I get a ticket for Industry Day?

Yes, a limited number of public tickets will be available for Industry Day. They will include the entire event - all 3 days.

So what makes Industry Day any different than the other two days?

This is the day when more focus is given to wholesale dealings. The educational component of Industry Day will get down in the weeds with offerings on business strategy and far more technical aspects of tea than the lectures and workshops on the consumer days will.

Who puts on this event?

This event is organized by the American Tea Festival Association, Inc. (non-profit pending). But the real power behind the scenes comes from our essential volunteers. No one involved in this event receives a salary, not even the festival director. All proceeds are put towards deposits for the next year's festival! For questions about this business, please contact us through our Contact form.

Will discounted tickets be available?

Yes, there will be a limited number of Early Bird tickets sold. You can be on the list to be notified by subscribing to our email newsletter. (Subscription box is on the home page, scroll down!) You can also get $5 off of your admission ticket by sending us a copy of your hotel confirmation when you book your room! You must have a room booked at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza to receive this discount. There may also be discounts available through various tea merchants and websites so keep an eye out!


If I am not in the tea industry, but am in the food & beverage industry, can I purchase an Industry Admission?

Yes. Part of the goal of this event is to encourage the wider food & beverage industry to adopt quality tea programs. In order to qualify for a discounted industry admission ticket you will need to show proof that you are an owner or in the management level of a food & beverage industry business.

If I am not "in" the tea industry, but I provide services to them, can I purchase an Industry Admission?

Yes. Services provided to the tea industry and tea educational organizations are also included in the industry group and owners of such businesses qualify for the discounted 3 day industry tickets. You will need to provide proof of your business. Please email us for details if you have questions about whether or not you qualify for this special discounted ticket.

Can I get a discount?

Being an industry admission, your admission ticket is already discounted. Send us a copy of your hotel confirmation for the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza and you can receive $5 off of any ticketed meal event.


When will applications be open for vendors?

February 2020 for returning 2019 vendors March 2020 for new vendors Sign up for our vendor distribution list for details and to be notified when applications open.

Who can be a vendor?

Anyone who can support a booth with a content of at least 50% tea or tea related items is welcome to apply.

Can I get more details?

Sign up for our vendor distribution list for details and to be notified when applications open.

I am a wholesaler only. Can I attend this event?

Yes. You will still have the opportunity to meet with current and potential clients and make wholesale deals. You do have to participate in all 3 days of the event regardless, though. So if you have teas, expect to be sampling them to consumers who may want to buy from you after they taste (a good problem to have, right?). So you might consider offering retail sales at this event in addition to wholesale. Even if you don't decide to do retail sales, you can always give your information to any interested consumer and tell them to ask their local shop to get in contact with you about carrying your items! Some of your distributors may even be at the event!


Is there discounted admission for volunteering to help with the event?

YES! If you volunteer for half a day, you get into the event for free that day. If you volunteer for a full day, you get into the event for free on all 3 days. You get a tote bag and tasting cup. Snacks and beverages will be provided in the volunteer breakroom and you may access that room on the day you are volunteering. You will also get a commemorative button.

Do I have to know a lot about tea in order to volunteer to help?

Nope. You don't have to know a thing about tea. If the job you end up being assigned to requires you to prepare tea, don't worry. You won't be left all alone and we will show you everything you need to do!

Do I have to have previous event volunteer experience?

Not at all. We want enthusiastic, friendly people to help make this event a huge success. Your experience volunteering or lack thereof is not a determining factor in whether or not we want to meet you!

Does the event have paid staff?

No. No one involved in the behind-the-scenes of this festival receives a salary and that includes the Festival Director. The success of this event relies completely in the hands of our dedicated volunteers!

Can I pick what job I do?

Unfortunately, no. With the number of volunteers we need, we will need to assign people to areas where we need help. You may request to work with a friend, tell us if you have physical restrictions (lifting, standing) but we cannot guarantee you a specific job.

Is there an age limit for volunteers?

Ideally, we prefer volunteers to be over 18. However, if you have a child between 13 and 17 who is strongly interested in tea and really wants to help, we are certainly willing to discuss that. Any volunteers between 13 and 15 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Any volunteers between 16 and 17 will need to have a parent or guardian sign a permission form if they will not be accompanied by parent or guardian.

So if everyone working the event is a volunteer, what happens to the profits from ticket sales and workshops and such?

Proceeds from ticket sales are put directly back into the account to pay for the next year's festival. Proceeds from workshop fees are split with the workshop instructor and everything the festival receives goes back into the account to pay for next year's festival. The cost of the ticketed meal events is exactly what the venue charges for them. We make no proceeds from the meal events.