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Special Events Permit Guidelines
(or how to know when you need one)

Download Application (pdf) | View special event calendar

This information has been prepared to assist you in planning and meeting the necessary requirements for a safe and enjoyable event. If you should have any questions which are not answered in this application packet, please contact the Special Events Coordinator at (970) 221-6555 or e-mail your questions to

Event Permit Organizational Chart

You will need to fill out a special event permit application if your event -

  • Will interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic (occurs on City streets or rights-of-way), or
  • Will take place on public property (including Old Town Square and Oak Street Plaza).

This includes block parties, parades, athletic events, and other special events, as defined below.

Block Party: A festive gathering which requires the closure of a street. A special event permit is not required for block parties not requiring street closure.

Parade: A march or procession which interferes with pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic. A special event permit is not required if the parade has 40 or less participants, stays on the sidewalks, and abides by all traffic regulations and controls.

Athletic Events: An occasion when a group of participants collectively engage in a sport or other forms of physical exercise which interferes with pedestrian or vehicular traffic. This includes bicycle and foot races.

Other Special Events: Street fair, arts and crafts show, carnival, soapbox derby, rally or other event which interferes with pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

NOTE: A special event permit is not a permit to violate City codes, ordinances, rules, or regulations, IE: noise violations. If a violation occurs, it may result in citation(s) issued to the event applicant/responsible person.

Processing Procedure:
Once you obtain a permit application, please submit the completed application to the Special Events Coordinator not less than 20 business days before the date of the event for block parties, 45 business days before the event for events involving the sale or service of alcohol, and 30 business days before the date of the event for all other events, and no more than one year prior to the event date. This will allow sufficient time for processing of the application. The application will be routed through the Police Department, Risk Management, the Fire Department, and Traffic Operations for approval to ensure that the application meets City requirements. This review process may require additional time if questions and/or problems with the application arise. If applicable, application information will also be forwarded to various City departments; I E: Code Enforcement. If alcohol is to be served at the event, you must also contact the Liquor Licensing Authority and obtain a permit from the Authority, as well.

Applicant Responsibilities:
Attach route or event map: a map is required for all events.

Fee: A $50 fee will be required for all events except block parties or events sponsored by a non-profit organization. This fee is to cover administrative costs. It will be waived if the applicant provides a letter from the non-profit organization which states that the event is for non-profit and lists the tax-exempt ID number; a copy of the tax-exempt certificate must also be attached.

Indemnification Agreement: Prior to issuance of a permit, the applicant, and sponsor if applicable, must sign an indemnification agreement. This agreement indemnifies the City of Fort Collins from any liability, which may arise as a result of the special event. This needs to be witnessed and signed in the presence of a notary public. Notaries are available during business hours at FCPS. There is no charge for this service.

Signatures of affected residents and/or businesses: required for any street or sidewalk blockages or closures – including residences above businesses (i.e.: Old Town Square area) unless other arrangements have been made with the Special Event Coordinator.