Office of Special Events

Welcome to the Office of Special Events

The Office of Special Events (OSE) is a one stop shop that is committed to high-quality events that display our community’s vibrancy and diversity. Event organizers and attendees can find the latest updates, resources, and access forms at the bottom of this page.

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.

Follow us to #FindYourFun and experience the vibrant GR 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? Email us here

If you have submitted a special events application, and have not received a response from the Office of Special Events within 48 hours, please call (616) 456-3378 (option 3).

Special Event Permit

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

Click here if you are a resident wanting to host a block party for your street. Click here if you want to use private property for an event (example: a business parking lot).

Apply for a Special Event Permit

*Planning Tip: 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).

  • Online Reservation Form
  • Paper Reservation Form
    *Our PDF option is temporarily unavailable to download. Please use the online version above. You may call our office with any questions or for further assistance at 616-456-3378 (opt. 3).


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, giant yard games, and more.

Apply for Equipment Rental


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

Special Events Videos