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Special Events Newsletter Special Events Newsletter
Frequently Asked Questions
- I am planning a picnic or other event in a park, what permit will I need?
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?
If you want to close a street for your party you will need to complete a Special Event 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
- Can I have alcohol at my event?
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?
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
- What if I have a live band or music over a PA system at my event?
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 differnt 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?
Any event interfering with vehicular or pedestrian traffic on City streets of right-of-ways requires a Special Event Permit from Police Services. 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?
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?
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, Michal Jaques, Assistant Fire Marshal, (970)416-2863 or bWphcXVlc0Bwb3VkcmUtZmlyZS5vcmc=.
- What are the rules for having a tent at my event?
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 https://www.poudre-fire.org/business/tent-permit-application or contact Poudre Fire Authority, Michal Jaques, Assistant Fire Marshal, (970) 416-2863 or bWphcXVlc0Bwb3VkcmUtZmlyZS5vcmc=
- What does it cost to get permit(s) for my event?
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?
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 Event Coordinator, Jan Sawyer, at amFzYXd5ZXJAZmNnb3YuY29t or (970) 416-2303.