Office of Special Events

Welcome to the Office of Special Events

The Office of Special Events (OSE) is committed to high-quality events that display our community’s vibrancy and diversity. Event organizers and attendees can find the latest updates for Special Events and General Information on COVID-19 above as well as under the 'COVID-19 Resources' tab below. If you’re postponing or cancelling your event, please contact the OSE at Be sure to send your notice with a link to your posting so we can share it on our social media and post it on the City’s website. Thank you.

Special Event Sponsorship Program

This program financially supports events that encourage community unity and pride, and promote equity. There are two different times to apply depending on when your event takes place as well as certain criteria that needs to be met.

Click here to learn more


The MDHHS rescinded emergency orders for gatherings in June of 2021. It is still recommended for those not of the same household to stay socially distanced. The use of PPE - such as hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, etc., is encouraged to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants. You can view additional guidance for organized events and gatherings here. Please keep this in mind as you continue to plan your event.

Additional COVID-19 Information:

Events + People = Community & Vibrancy

We have year-round activities and entertainment options for all Grand Rapids residents and visitors to enjoy. Browse through our upcoming events to find something fun to do.

We issue permits to promote unique, fun and creative events for all to enjoy. We permit events in the city to make sure they're accessible, safe and community focused. Want to check out the events we permit? Click here.

Need to permit your next event? View the 'Forms' section below to see which application you'll need.

Want to chat with us about details before submitting your application? We're happy to help! Email us at the email address in the Contact Us section of this page to schedule a time to talk.

Join us to experience the vibrant Grand Rapids community!

We have everything you need to know to plan and permit an event in the city!

Special Event Planning and Resource Guide

Have you applied for a Special Event Permit and have feedback on the process? Complete our feedback form.

Special Event Permit

Planning to host an event in Grand Rapids? We help you to check venue availability and plan your event. 

You can complete our Special Event Permit Application by downloading a PDF version here(PDF, 481KB)  or apply online here.


View our timeline checklist to help you stay on track here, or download a printable version here(PDF, 241KB).


Do you have a great idea but don't have all the information for your application just yet? That’s okay! If your event is over 30 days away, just submit a Reservation Form to pencil your event in on our calendar. You'll still need to submit a Special Event Permit Application (above).

Wedding Permit

Want to get married in a park? Great choice! We've outlined the steps to apply for a permit.

Apply for a Wedding Permit

Film and Photography Permit

Want to film your next project in a public space? Check if you need a permit and we'll guide you through the process.

Apply for a Film and Photography Permit

Blue Bridge & Gallery Ramp Active Lighting Request

Brighten your city by requesting to customize lighting for the Blue Bridge and/or the Gallery Parking Ramp. We have tons of pre-programmed colors for you to choose from - the possibilities are endless!

Apply to change the Blue Bridge or Gallery Ramp Lighting

Rent Equipment

Need to use equipment and want to rent instead of buy? We have stages, bleachers, P.A. systems, tents and more.

Apply for Equipment Rental


Request Outdoor Games

Looking to add that something 'special' to your event? Check out the outdoor games we offer! We have options such as large tic-tac-toe, giant dominoes, cornhole, and more!

Apply to request outdoor games(PDF, 378KB)


We feature events happening each month. Check out our videos!

Special Events Videos