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 plan (see step 3).

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 in step 7.

Step 4.Develop a site plan

To create a comprehensive site plan: 

  • Create a site map using a program of your choice such as Google Earth or our Special Event Resource Guides
  • Write out a timeline including set-up, tear-down, delivery and retrieval times

Step 5.Make your plans

You'll need to include details for the following plans in this application:

  • Walk/run route and written directions (for races)
  • Refuse and recycling plan
  • Parking management plan
  • Amplified sound extension request

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.Apply online

Note: Due to COVID-19 we are encouraging all event planners to have a back-up plan and be ready to pivot as necessary. Events are able to hold one back-up date, this date can be noted in the application or it can be e-mailed to us. 

If your event is less than 100 people and does not need city services (i.e. trash/recycle carts, street closures, GRPD, etc.), you'll want to complete our Fast AppIf your event is 100+ people and will need city services, please complete our standard Special Event Permit Application(PDF, 481KB).

Step 8.We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you via e-mail in 1-2 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 we send you written approval.

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 3).

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(PDF, 426KB) and we'll pencil you in. You'll be able to complete the full application when your planning is done. Keep in mind we won't issue a permit until the permit application is completed in full.

Step 4.Develop a site plan

To create a comprehensive site plan: 

  • Create a site map using a program of your choice such as Google Earth or our Special Event Resource Guides
  • Write out a timeline including set-up, tear-down, delivery and retrieval times

Step 5.Make your plans

You'll need to include details for the following plans in this application:

  • Walk/run route and written directions (for races)
  • Refuse and recycling plan
  • Parking management plan
  • Amplified sound extension request

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).

Complete the application

Note: Due to COVID-19 we are encouraging all event planners to have a back-up plan and be ready to pivot as necessary. Events are able to hold one back-up date, this date can be noted in the application or it can be e-mailed to us. 

If your event is less than 100 people and does not need city services (i.e. trash/recycle carts, street closures, GRPD, etc.), you'll want to complete our Fast App. If your event is 100+ people and will need city services, please complete our standard Special Event Permit Application(PDF, 558KB).

Step 7.We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you in 1-2 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 we send you written approval.

Phone

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 3).

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. You'll be able to complete the full application when your planning is done. Keep in mind we won't issue a permit until the permit application is completed in full.

Step 4.Develop a site plan

To create a comprehensive site plan: 

  • Create a site map using a program of your choice such as Google Earth or our Special Event Resource Guides
  • Write out a timeline including set-up, tear-down, delivery and retrieval times

Step 5.Make your plans

You'll need to include details for the following plans in this application:

  • Walk/run route and written directions (for races)
  • Refuse and recycling plan
  • Parking management plan
  • Amplified sound extension request

Step 6.Have payment ready

Be prepared to pay the $100 non-refundable, non-transferrable application fee. We accept check or debit/credit (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).

Step 7.Give us a call

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

Step 8.We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you in 1-2 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 we send you written approval.

In Person

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 3).

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. You'll be able to complete the full application when your planning is done. Keep in mind we won't issue a permit until the permit application is completed in full. 

Step 4.Develop a site plan

To create a comprehensive site plan: 

  • Create a site map using a program of your choice such as Google Earth or our Special Event Resource Guides
  • Write out a timeline including set-up, tear-down, delivery and retrieval times

Step 5.Make your plans

You'll need to include details for the following plans in this application:

  • Walk/run route and written directions (for races)
  • Refuse and recycling plan
  • Parking management plan
  • Amplified sound timeframe

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).

Complete the application

Download and print or scan the application to submit.

Download English Application(PDF, 558KB)

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

Step 7.Visit our office

Note: due to COVID-19, our office is not open to walk-ins. Please call our office with any questions you may have 616-456-3378 (option 3)

Come to our office located on the second floor of the building address listed in the Contact Us section. 

Step 8.We'll review your application

We'll check the availability for your event and follow up with you in 1-2 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 we send you written approval.