Office of Special Events

Welcome to the Office of Special Events

COVID-19 Updates

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 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.


(as of 11/16/20)

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the MI Department of Health and Human Services' (MDHHS) has issued an Emergency OrderGatherings are permitted only as follows: 

General capacity limitations at gatherings - Outdoor gatherings at non-residential venues:

(A) 25 or fewer persons are gathered at a venue without fixed seating, and attendance is limited to 20 persons per 1,000 square feet, including within any distinct area within the event space;

(B) 25 or fewer persons are gathered at a venue with fixed seating, and attendance is limited to 20% of seating capacity of the venue.

OSE staff is available by e-mail or phone to assist in planning: Office of Special Events or 616-456-3378 (option 3).

MDHHS Pause to Save Lives Infographic

MDHHS Social Gathering Guidance

MDHHS Safe Social Pods

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. 

Note: Recognizing that quick action is needed for our community’s COVID-19 recovery, we’re committed to expediting our approval process. We have modified our existing processes and created a shortened application. Complete our Fast App here or download the PDF version here(PDF, 316KB).

If you're applying for a 2021 event, please complete our standard Special Event Permit Application(PDF, 558KB).


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.

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

Request Blue Bridge Lighting

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

Apply to change the Blue Bridge 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

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

Special Events Videos