What types of events require a special event permit?
Events that close streets, take place in public locations (other than a City Park or Open Space), have greater than 10,000 total participants, beer garden or high-risk activities are required to submit the Citywide Special Event Permit Application.
Events that are completely contained within a City Park or Open Space are required to submit the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Special Event Permit Application. These events do not have road closures, beer gardens, high-risk activities or greater than 10,000 total participants.
What happens after I submit my Citywide Special Event Permit?
Citywide Special Event Applications are due at least 90 days in advance of the event. Upon receipt of the application, the Office of Special Events will review the application and send a confirmation email outlining any outstanding items to needed complete the application. The Office of Special Events will also contact you to schedule an Application Review Meeting.
At the Application Review Meeting, the applicant will meet with all applicable City departments to review the application in detail, address any questions or concerns, and design traffic control and safety plans. Application Review Meetings are scheduled every other Wednesday at 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 am.
Once all required documentation is provided to the City and all plans are finalized and agreed upon, the Special Event Permit will be issued.
What other types of fees might be required for my event?
The City of Colorado Springs charges for the cost of any required Police or Fire Medical personnel, meter hooding, park fees and damage fees if applicable in addition to the fees for any additionally required permits. All projected fees and applicable discounts will be outlined in a Cost Estimate Letter provided to each Event Organizer as part of the permit application process.
Is Event Insurance required to obtain a Special Event Permit?
Yes. Events are required to have Commercial General Liability Insurance that names the City of Colorado Springs as Additional Insured. The policy must be for a minimum of $1,000,000 with an aggregate amount of $1,000,000. Additional insurance may be required dependent upon the event size and any high risk activities. Coverage must be maintained for the duration of the event including setup and dismantle dates. Event insurance will be primary; any City insurance will be non-contributory.
Events that intend to serve or sell alcoholic beverages at an event must also submit a Certificate of Insurance providing proof of a liquor legal liability insurance policy or properly endorsed general liability policy. Events that hire a vendor to serve or sell alcoholic beverages, rather than providing the alcohol themselves, must submit a Certificate of Insurance from the vendor providing proof of a liquor legal liability insurance policy or properly endorsed general liability policy. The minimum acceptable limit of liability per claim and aggregate is $1,000,000. This requirement applies to the business or group which serves or sells the alcohol.
How do I apply for City Sponsorship? Are there discounts available?
No; however, fee waivers for Park fees are evaluated separately and must be submitted using the Park Fee Waiver Application.
City Sponsorship for Special Events is obtained through City Council's Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax (LART) fund.
Can I host an event in a parking lot if I have permission from the owner?
Events in parking lots may require a Temporary Use Permit. For questions or to obtain a Temporary Use Permit, call 719-385-5905.
How can I become a vendor at a special event?
Vendors interested in participating at a special event must directly contact each event's Organizer or Promoter directly.
How do I invite my local Fire Station to come to my event?
To invite the Fire Department to participate in your event, please call 719-385-7250.
What kind of permit do I need for a Neighborhood Block Party?
Neighborhood Block Parties are overseen by the Colorado Springs Office of Special Events.
If I obtain a Noise Hardship Permit, will I receive permission to have amplified sound at my event?
Not necessarily. All Noise Hardship Permit Applications are reviewed by the Colorado Springs Police Department and are subject to City codes and guidelines regarding noise and amplified sound.
What vendors can I use for restrooms, fencing, barricades, or to hire for security?
Please contact the Office of Special Events for a list of commonly used vendors. Vendors on this list are not preferred or recommended, and you may hire the professional company of your choice.
Can we use City buses to shuttle attendees for our event?
It is difficult for the City to allow use of busses for Special Events as they are under strict Federal regulations. Because of these Federal regulations, individuals cannot be transported for the ‘exclusive use’ of the vehicle and a fare must be charged. Please note that all requests will be evaluated using the following criteria including the Federal regulations referenced above:
- People are not being transported for the exclusive use of the vehicle
- Buses must be open to the public
- A fare must be charged that is no more than the current basic fare (currently $1.75)
- No other organization (e.g. private bus company, school bus) could provide this service
- Event is City Sponsored
If an event is granted permission to use City buses, in addition to charging bus fare to individuals riding the busses, the Event Organizer must also pay for the cost for use of the buses which is dependent on the number of buses being used and hours of operation.
How can I reserve Bear Creek Park or Fox Run Park?
These two parks are El Paso County parks. Please call (719) 520-6375 for more information.
How do I reserve a picnic area or a park?
This really depends on why you need it. Small groups, under 50 people, can use parks on a first come, first served basis and are non-exclusive. All groups over 100 and those wishing to guarantee exclusive use of a part of a park/pavilion can reserve one. If you have questions, our reservation line is (719) 385-5941 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I have a bounce house at my SPECIAL EVENT?
Bounce Houses must be weighted down; stakes are prohibited. A generator may be required due to lack of electricity and the ground must be protected. Your bounce house company must provide proof of insurance naming the City of Colorado Springs as additionally insured.
Bounce houses are not allowed with pavilion rentals. Groups wishing to have a bounce house, should use go through the Park Special Events permit process.
I want my band to do a concert in a park. How do I do that?
You will need to complete the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Special Event Permit Application to reserve the park for this type event.
How can I make my event Green?
The City of Colorado Springs is committed to making our City more sustainable. In an effort to move these goals forward, we are asking all Events Organizers to consider the environment during the planning, implementation, and cleanup of special events. The following information and resources will assist you with making your event GREEN. These basic steps reduce the environmental impact of your special event.
What else do I need to think about as a Special Event host?
- ADA Planning Guide
- Alcohol Policy and Application for Parks
- Cooking and LPG Use Worksheet
- Fee Reduction Policy
- Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Permit
- Inflatable Attraction Guidelines
- Medical Resource Matrix
- Noise Hardship Permit
- Open Burning Permit
- Parks Rules and Regulations
- Revocable Permit
- Site Plan Guidelines
- Special Event Liquor Permit
- Temporary Sale Tax License
- Temporary Land Use Permit
- Tent and Canopy Permit
- CITY CODE and ORDINANCES
Did we miss something? Then give the Office a Special Events a call or email:Office of Special Events
1401 Recreation Way
Colorado Springs, CO 80905