Apply for a Special Event Permit

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

Online Form

Step 1.Review the Planning and Resource Guide

Check out our Special Event Planning and Resource Guide for timelines, specifications, instructions and templates. We recommend you use this guide to create your site map (see step 4).

Step 2.Check your eligibility

You'll need a Special Event Permit if you have an activity or series of events or activities planned for a specific time and place. Typical special events include festivals, parades, races, concerts and neighborhood fairs. This is due no later than 70 days before your event start date.

For events on private property, complete the Private Property Event Permit Application.

Step 3.Reserve a date and location

Still putting your plans together? No problem! Complete the Special Event Permit Reservation Form and we'll pencil you in. If you know all your plan details, complete the form at the bottom of this page. Keep in mind that a completed Special Event Permit Application must be submitted to receive a permit.

Step 4.Develop a site map

To create a comprehensive site map

  • Create a site map using a program of your choice such as Google Earth or our Special Event Resource Guides. You can submit a rough draft and provide updated maps as you continue to plan.
  • Write out a timeline including set-up, tear-down, delivery and retrieval times

Step 5.Make your plans

You'll need to have details ready for the application. Some of these include:

  • Walk/run route and written directions (for races)
  • Refuse and recycling plan
  • Event timeline
  • Event Action Plan
  • Amplified sound extension request

You can view other details we'll need to know by viewing our guidelinestimeline checklist (not all tasks may apply).

Step 6.Have payment ready

Be prepared to pay the $100 non-refundable, non-transferrable application fee. We accept Visa and MasterCard for online payments.

Step 7.Submit application 

Applications without a site map or application fee will not be accepted. If you're an organization that needs to be invoiced for the application fee, please connect with our office.

Step 8.We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you via e-mail in 2 business days. Submitting this application doesn't mean your event is approved.

We recommend that you do not announce your event date or location until you receive an email from us stating that your event has been accepted. Keep in mind that some details may take longer to approve, such as a street closure request or race/walk route.

 

Click here to apply online

Paper Form

Step 1.Review the Planning and Resource Guide

Check out our Special Event Planning and Resource Guide for timelines, specifications, instructions, and templates. We recommend you use this guide to create your site plan (see step 4).

Step 2.Check your eligibility

You'll need a Special Event Permit if you have an activity or series of events or activities planned for a specific time and place. Typical special events include festivals, parades, races, concerts and neighborhood fairs. This is due no later than 70 days before your event start date.

For events on private property, complete the Private Property Event Permit Application.

Step 3.Reserve a date and location

Still putting your plans together? No problem! Complete the Special Event Permit Reservation Form and we'll pencil you in. If you know all your plan details, complete the form at the bottom of this page. Keep in mind that a completed Special Event Permit Application must be submitted to receive a permit.

Step 4.Develop a site map

To create a comprehensive site map

  • Create a site map using a program of your choice such as Google Earth or our Special Event Resource Guides. You can submit a rough draft and provide updated maps as you continue to plan.
  • Write out a timeline including set-up, tear-down, delivery and retrieval times

Step 5.Make your plans

You'll need to have details ready for the application. Some of these include:

  • Walk/run route and written directions (for races)
  • Refuse and recycling plan
  • Event timeline
  • Event Action Plan
  • Amplified sound extension request

You can view other details we'll need to know by viewing our guidelines & timeline checklist (not all tasks may apply).

Step 6.Have payment ready

Be prepared to pay the $100 non-refundable, non-transferrable application fee. Make checks payable to The City of Grand Rapids. We can also email an invoice upon request to allow for debit/credit payment online (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).

Step 7.Submit application 

Applications without a site map or application fee will not be accepted. If you're an organization that needs to be invoiced for the application fee, please connect with our office.

Step 8.We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you in 2 business days. Submitting this application doesn't mean your event is approved.

We recommend that you do not announce your event date or location until you receive an email from us stating that your event has been accepted. Keep in mind that some details may take longer to approve, such as a street closure request or race/walk route.

 

Download the Special Event Permit Application in English(PDF, 354KB)

Phone

Review the Planning and Resource Guide

Check out our Special Event Planning and Resource Guide for timelines, specifications, instructions, and templates. We recommend you use this guide to create your site plan (see step 4).

Check your eligibility

You'll need a Special Event Permit if you have an activity or series of events or activities planned for a specific time and place. Typical special events include festivals, parades, races, concerts and neighborhood fairs. This is due no later than 70 days before your event start date.

For events on private property, complete the Private Property Event Permit Application.

Reserve a date and location

Still putting your plans together? No problem! Complete the Special Event Permit Reservation Form and we'll pencil you in. If you know all your plan details, complete the form at the bottom of this page. Keep in mind that a completed Special Event Permit Application must be submitted to receive a permit.

Develop a site map

To create a comprehensive site map

  • Create a site map using a program of your choice such as Google Earth or our Special Event Resource Guides. You can submit a rough draft and provide updated maps as you continue to plan.
  • Write out a timeline including set-up, tear-down, delivery and retrieval times

Make your plans

You'll need to have details ready for the application. Some of these include:

  • Walk/run route and written directions (for races)
  • Refuse and recycling plan
  • Event timeline
  • Event Action Plan
  • Amplified sound extension request

You can view other details we'll need to know by viewing our guidelines & timeline checklist (not all tasks may apply).

Have payment ready

Be prepared to pay the $100 non-refundable, non-transferrable application fee. Make checks payable to The City of Grand Rapids. We can also email an invoice upon request to allow for debit/credit payment online (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).

Give us a call

Call us at the number listed in the Contact Us section for help completing the application.

We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you in 2 business days. Submitting this application doesn't mean your event is approved.

We recommend that you do not announce your event date or location until you receive an email from us stating that your event has been accepted. Keep in mind that some details may take longer to approve, such as a street closure request or race/walk route.

 

Download the Special Event Permit Application in English(PDF, 354KB)

 

We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you via e-mail in 2 business days. Submitting this application doesn't mean your event is approved.

We recommend that you do not announce your event date or location until you receive an email from us stating that your event has been accepted. Keep in mind that some details may take longer to approve, such as a street closure request or race/walk route.

 

In Person

Review the Planning and Resource Guide

Check out our Special Event Planning and Resource Guide for timelines, specifications, instructions, and templates. We recommend you use this guide to create your site plan (see step 4).

Check your eligibility

You'll need a Special Event Permit if you have an activity or series of events or activities planned for a specific time and place. Typical special events include festivals, parades, races, concerts and neighborhood fairs. This is due no later than 70 days before your event start date.

For events on private property, complete the Private Property Event Permit Application.

Reserve a date and location

Still putting your plans together? No problem! Complete the Special Event Permit Reservation Form and we'll pencil you in. If you know all your plan details, complete the form at the bottom of this page (see step 7). Keep in mind that a completed Special Event Permit Application must be submitted to receive a permit.

Develop a site map

To create a comprehensive site map

  • Create a site map using a program of your choice such as Google Earth or our Special Event Resource Guides. You can submit a rough draft and provide updated maps as you continue to plan.
  • Write out a timeline including set-up, tear-down, delivery and retrieval times

Make your plans

You'll need to have details ready for the application. Some of these include:

  • Walk/run route and written directions (for races)
  • Refuse and recycling plan
  • Event timeline
  • Event Action Plan
  • Amplified sound extension request

You can view other details we'll need to know by viewing our guidelines & timeline checklist (not all tasks may apply).

Have payment ready

Be prepared to pay the $100 non-refundable, non-transferrable application fee. Make checks payable to The City of Grand Rapids. We can also email an invoice upon request to allow for debit/credit payment online (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).

Complete the application

Download and print or scan the application to submit.

Download English Application(PDF, 354KB)

Don't have a printer? Don't worry! You can come to our office for a printed copy.

Step 1.Visit our office 

Come to our office - our address listed in the Contact Us section. 

Step 2.We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you via e-mail in 2 business days. Submitting this application doesn't mean your event is approved.

We recommend that you do not announce your event date or location until you receive an email from us stating that your event has been accepted. Keep in mind that some details may take longer to approve, such as a street closure request or race/walk route.