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Frequently Asked Questions#

A Commercial Film permit is required when filming on City of Fort Collins property. A permit is not required when filming on private property.

Commercial film production shall mean a video and audio recording event conducted by a paid professional crew, with or without actors, sets, or props. Commercial film production shall include crews of three (3) or more persons. Applications must be submitted at least 10 Business Days prior to the start of filming.

Producer shall follow all applicable City policies, rules & regulations including but not limited to Parks, Parking Services, Noise Ordinance, Liquor laws. If you are planning on exclusive use of location, you will also need to apply for a Special Events Permit and/or a Park Permit

Still Photography that does not have sound or video does not need a Commercial Film Permit.

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.

If you have a Special Events Permit, no separate permit from Natural Areas is needed. For further information about City owned Natural Areas, please refer to their web page, and for information about Natural Areas special event permit visit Natural Areas Permit

Map of City of Fort Collins Natural Areas

If you want to close a residential 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 plan and a site map (see example), notify and get approval signatures of all those affected by the street closure, and you are responsible for obtaining traffic control devices. 

*Residential streets next to connector or arterial streets will require, at your expense, professional traffic control devises (not provided in block party trailer): such as type 3 barricades, road closed signs, no turn signs, etc... (see example)

If you have questions about either the block party application, the approval process, or the block party trailer, please email Neighborhood Services at blockparties@fcgov.com or call Neighborhood Services front desk at 970.224.6046.

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.

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.

If your event is a rules-of-the-road run, walk, parade, participants must obey all traffic laws and yield to traffic if encountered. See Rules-of-the-road traffic plan submission example: Rules-of-the-road traffic plan submission example

In comparison, in a competitive timed race, the traffic control and safety plans are put in place to stop traffic and allow runners to not be impacted by traffic. See competitive race traffic plan submission example: Competitive race traffic plan submission example

In both cases, a detailed route map needs to be included in the application to show directions of travel, whether participants will be using traffic lane, sidewalk, bike lane, proposed staffing at crossing points, demonstrate physical separation of participants from vehicular traffic using cones or barricades (putting runners in one lane and traffic in the adjacent lane is highly inadvisable). The Traffic Control Plan (TCP) or Method of Handling Traffic (MHT) will need to show steps to anticipate and mitigate intentional and unintentional vehicle intrusion.

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 https://www.fcgov.com/specialevents/pdf/riskmgmtevtsrequiringins.pdf

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.

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.

A crowd manager helps to ensure the safety of those at an event. They are the person(s) responsible for defining their establishment's emergency plan for evacuation. They are also responsible for ensuring that employees/volunteers properly understand their roles in crowd management and assisting in directing the crowd in an orderly manner for evacuation. Outdoor events with more than 1,000 persons in attendance shall require a crowd manager(s).

PFA Operational Permit Guidebook for Special Events

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.

Any recreational fire or use of pyrotechnics 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)416-2868.

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 here or contact Poudre Fire Authority, Kevin Sullivan, Assistant Fire Marshal, Fire Protection Systems Program, 970-416-2868 or kevin.sullivan@poudre-fire.org

Yes, a security/damage deposit is required for all events. This deposit must be submitted at the time of application. The fee structure is determined by the anticipated event attendance and whether alcohol will be served.

Security/damage deposit fee structure based on attendance:

  • Under 500 pp (non-Alcohol): $250
  • Under 500 pp (with Alcohol): $500
  • 500-1,499*: $1,500
  • 1,500-2,499*: $2,500
  • Over 2,500*: $5,000

*Regardless of alcohol service

The security/damage deposit, or any portion thereof, may be retained to pay for any damage caused by the event, any unpaid City services, City invoices, etc. The applicant is responsible for any damage to City property that is not covered by the security deposit.

The security/damage deposit, or a portion thereof, will be refunded within 30-90 days post-event, provided there are no outstanding expenses or damages to City property.

Events utilizing both City properties and parks or trails may incur separate security deposits for each location.

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 – A $100 application fee is required for all events, except block parties or First Amendment activities. There is no application fee for Block Parties or Demonstrations. Events produced by a not-for-profit organization may receive a reduced application processing fee of $50.00. 

A security/damage deposit is mandatory for all events and must be submitted upon application. Fee Structure is determined by anticipated attendance and alcohol service.

  • Under 500 attendees (non-Alcohol): $250
  • Under 500 attendees (with Alcohol): $500
  • 500-1,499 attendees*: $1,500
  • 1,500-2,499 attendees*: $2,500
  • Over 2,500 attendees*: $5,000
    • *Regardless of alcohol service

The deposit may cover event damages, unpaid City services, or invoices. Additional costs for damages beyond the deposit are the applicant's responsibility. Refunds, or a portion thereof, will be processed within 30-90 days post-event, pending no outstanding expenses or damages to City property. Events across City properties and parks/trails may require separate security deposits for each location.

Large Event Permit Application Fees – Parks     

  • Refundable damage deposit for most parks
  • Refundable damage deposit for Civic Center/Washington Park or events with alcohol
  • For further information please visit Parks website: https://www.fcgov.com/parks/park-rentals

Large Event Permit Application Fees – Trails     

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.

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 team at specialeventpermit@fcgov.com or the Special Events Lead Specialist, Elodie Vigneron, at (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