The City of Columbus Office of Special Events
The City of Columbus Office of Special Events issues permits for public events and gatherings. Our goal is to help create successful events of every size and scope and clearly define the expectations for producing an event in the City of Columbus. The City strives to balance the needs of events and the events' impact to residents and businesses.
Starting or submitting an application does not guarantee that a permit will be issued. Review the Special Event Application User Manual to help navigate this application.
A list of all City of Columbus Parks is available. Not all parks are available for special events. Review the special event related fees for assisting with your event budget.
SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT
A Special Event Permit is issued for an event utilizing parks, streets and waterways in the City of Columbus where planned activities go beyond normal use. Special Events include festivals, street fairs, concerts, races, regattas, etc. These events may include street closing and are marketed citywide or regionally and involve extensive planning and coordination with multiple city departments. The deadline to submit the the Special Event Application for a Special Event Permit is 60 days prior to the event. The Office of Special Events accepts applications up to one year in advance of an event. The official submission date is the date the completed application is received.
A Special Event Permit is required if your event meets at least one of the following criteria listed:
- The anticipated number of participants in a park is over 100 people;
- Admission fees, participation fees or fundraising on public property;
- Closure of a street (does not include residential block parties);
- Event requires use of a trail, or street for a designated race course;
- Event requires use of a waterway for non-commercial events;
- Tents over 400 square feet (i.e. larger than 20’x20’, or more than four 10’x10’ tents);
- Platform stages over 120 square feet or more than 10 persons on the stage;
- Mobile stage(s) on public property;
- Temporary power wired directly into existing electrical services or panels, temporary power supplied by vehicle or trailer mounted generator(s), or any distribution of power;
- Amplified sound beyond a personal/Bluetooth speaker;
- Alcohol sales and/or consumption;
- Food Preparation and/or sales;
- Exhibitors and/or merchandise sales;
- Carnival Games, rides or bounce amusements (without the rental of a shelter);
- Vehicles on Display;
- Temporary fencing or crowd barriers;
Please review the Special Event Planning Guide to be aware of policies, procedures and important information for producing an event in Columbus. The Special Event Planning Guide is a great resource to use while completing the application.
BLOCK PARTY PERMIT
A Block Party Permit is issued for the closure of a block and/or street for residents of the block and their families. There is no marketing and/or community advertising for the block party and the block party is not open to the public. Alcohol is not permitted on the streets of a residential block party. Church festivals, fairs, cookouts and/or giveaways are excluded from residential block parties and should complete the Special Event Application process. The deadline to submit the Block Party Application is 30 days prior to the block party. The Office of Special Events accepts applications up to one year in advance of an event. The official submission date is the date the completed application is received.
Please review the Block Party Planning Guide to be aware of policies, procedures and important information for having a block party in Columbus.
A Film Permit is issued for any commercial purpose filming and/or photoshoots within the City of Columbus parks or streets. Non-Commercial, still and/or personal photographers require a permit when:
- Takes place at location(s) or time(s) when members of the public are generally not allowed;
- Utilizes professional actors or models, specialized or large motorized equipment or set(s) and prop(s) that are not part of the locations natural or cultural resources;
- Will include 50 or more people or have the potential to impact the park for other users;
- Uses pyrotechnics or flame effects;
- Includes weapons (fake or real)
The deadline to submit a Film Application is 5 days before filming, except when closing a street as part of the filming then the deadline is 30 days before the filming date. The Office of Special Events accepts applications up to one year in advance of the filming date. The official submission date is the date the completed application is received.
Please review the Film Planning Guide to be aware of policies, procedures and important information for filming in Columbus.
Some activities require a permit other than the Special Event, Block Party or Film. Examples include:
For more details on permitting, please review the Event Planning Guide.
Proceed to Application