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Special Events

Frequently Asked Questions#

I am planning a picnic or other event in a park, what permit will I need?highlight_off

The requirements for a permit will vary, based upon the activities you are planning and number of people you expect. It could be a simple Drop-In User Permit up to a large Event Permit. For further information, please refer to the Parks web page.

What do I need to do if I want to hold a neighborhood block party?highlight_off

If you want to close a street for your party you will need to complete a Block Party Permit application. The fee will be waived but you will need to provide a traffic map, notify and get approval signatures of all those affected by the street closure, and you will be responsible for obtaining the traffic control devices (barricades, cones, etc.) from a professional traffic control company at your expense

Neighborhood Services offers small grants to help offset the cost of hosting neighborhood events. For information on these grants, and block parties not closing streets, please refer to the Neighborhood Services Web Page.

Can I have alcohol at my event?highlight_off

Depending on where your event is taking place, it may require additional permitting through the City's Liquor Licensing Authority. It is prohibited by City Code to possess or consume any alcoholic beverage, open or unopened, in a City Park or Trail except where allowed by a Special Event Permit issued by the City's Liquor Licensing Authority. The only parks allowing Special Event Liquor Permits are Civic Center Park, Washington Park, Oak Street Plaze Park or Legacy Park.

Events held at other locations within the City may apply for a license to serve alcohol at their event. Please note that only 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations may apply for, and be granted a Special Event Liquor Permit. Visit the City's Liquor Licensing Authorit web page for more information.

Will I need proof of insurance for my event?highlight_off

Most large events, races and events involving animals, the serving/selling of alcohol or ride and attractions (including bouncy houses) will be required to provide proof of liability insurance coverage. The City's Safety and Risk Management Department may require that an insurance certificate list the City of Fort Collins as "additionally insured." 

For more information on insurance requirements for events, go to

What if I have a live band or music over a PA system at my event?highlight_off

Compliance with the City's Noise Ordinance as required by City Code is expected from any event utilizing amplified sound. The Ordinance outlines the hours of acceptable sound levels in different areas throughout the city. If you're having amplified sound at your event, a variance must be requested by contacting the Code Compliance Office at 970-224-6046.

During the event, Code Compliance Officers must be allowed access within the event for purposes of monitoring the sound levels. For large events requiring, at the City's discretion, the need for Code Compliance Officer(s) to monitor the sound levels, there will be a fee to cover the cost, to be paid to Code Compliance.

What if my event will involve closing streets, sidewalks, or parking spaces?highlight_off

Any event interfering with vehicular or pedestrian traffic on City streets of right-of-ways requires a Special Event Permit from the City of Fort Collins Special Events Team. You will need to provide a site map of your event, a traffic control plan, notify and get approval signatures of all residents and businesses affected by the closure(s), and you will be responsible for obtaining traffic control devices (barricades, cones, signage, etc.) from a traffic control company at your expense.

Is it possible to have bingo or a raffle at my event?highlight_off

Many nonprofit organizations use bingo and raffles as a tool for fundraising for their organizations. Licenses and requirements are available in the bingo and raffle section of the Secretary of State's Office. You may consult their website or call to request a license application packet. 

Contact: Secretary of State, 303-894-2200.

Can we have a bonfire or fireworks at my event?highlight_off

Any recreational fire or use of pyrotechnices needs to be approved by the Poudre Fire Authority. A request for a bonfire or the use of fireworks can be made by contacting the Poudre Fire Authority, (970)416-2874.

What are the rules for having a tent at my event?highlight_off

Any tent or air supported membrane structure greater than 400 square feet (20’ x 20’) requires a tent permit. Any canopy over 800 square feet also requires this permit. The application for a tent permit can be found at or contact Poudre Fire Authority, Michal Jaques, Assistant Fire Marshal, (970) 416-2863 or

What does it cost to get permit(s) for my event?highlight_off

That depends on the location(s) and size of your event. Listed below are some of the current fees and damage deposits you might incur for your event. These fees are subject to change.

Special Event Permit Application Fee – Police Services    $50

Large Event Permit Application Fees – Parks

                                             Under 250 participants    $100

                                             250 to 2,500 participants $200

                                             Over 2,500 participants   $550

Large Event Permit Application Fees – Trails                 $250

Refundable damage deposit for most parks       $250

Refundable damage deposit for trails                $250

Refundable damage deposit for Civic Center/Washington Park or events with alcohol

         Fewer than 500 participants                    $500

         500 to 1,499 participants                         $1,500

         1,500 to 2,499 participants                      $2,500

         Over 2,500 participants                           $5,000

Noise Variance Permit Application – Code Compliance    $25

Special Event Liquor Permit – Liquor Licensing Authority            $50/day

Depending on the complexity of your event, you may incur charges for other necessary licenses or permits. If your event is large and is required to have Public Safety personnel (Police, Fire, EMS) on site at the event, you will be responsible for the costs of those personnel, as well. A complete list of your fees and expenses will be provided to you during the permitting process.

I didn't see the answer to my question here. Where can I get more information?highlight_off

Go to the Event Planning Guide on this site for more detailed information. If you still don’t find what you need there, contact the Special Events Lead Specialist, Elodie Vigneron, at or (970) 416-2303.

Event Calendar

See what special events are being planned or have been approved.

View Events

Planning Guide

Learn what documents, agencies, or departments require approval of your event.

Learn More