Special Event Permit Guidelines

This information has been prepared to assist you in planning and meeting the necessary requirements for a safe and enjoyable event. If you have any questions, see the Event Planning Guide. If you have additional questions after reviewing the guide, please contact the Special Event Coordinator at (970) 416-2303 or e-mail your questions to specialeventcoord@fcgov.com.

What is a “Special Event”?

A Special Event is defined by the City of Fort Collins as:

Competitive Events: Foot races, fun runs or walks, bike races or tours, or any other competitive event which interferes with pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or takes place in a City owned park, trail or open space.

Community Events: Festivals, arts and crafts shows, outdoor concerts, carnivals, or any other event that interferes with pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or takes place in a City owned park, trail, or open space.

Parade: A march or procession which interferes with pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic. A special event permit is not required if the march or parade has 40 or fewer participants, stays on the sidewalks, and abides by all traffic regulations and controls.

Block Party: A social gathering on a residential street which requires the closure of the street, or a portion of it. A special event permit is not required for block parties not requiring street closure.

If your event falls into one of the categories above, you will need to submit a Special Event Permit application, so please keep reading.

The Details


A completed application, with all required attachments, must be submitted to the Special Events Coordinator not less than:

  • 20 business days before the date of the event for block parties
  • 30 business days before the date of the event for all other events not serving alcohol
  • 45 business days before the date of the event for events involving the sale or service of alcohol, or for events at the Civic Center Park/Washington Park event venue

Applications may not be submitted sooner than one year prior to your event date.

These deadlines provide us a sufficient amount of time to process your application. Applications are reviewed by the Police Department, Safety, Security & Risk Management, Poudre Fire Authority (PFA), Parks, Traffic Operations, and other applicable departments prior to approval.

If your event will take place on Larimer County roads or lands, if alcohol is to be served at the event, or if you plan to have a raffle, there are other permits you may have to obtain from the state or county.

Other requirements

  • Site Plan and/or Route Map: A site plan and/or route map is required for all events. Please upload a copy with your application.
  • Application Fee: A $50 application fee is required for all events, except block parties, or events sponsored by a non-profit organization. If you are a not-for-profit organization, please provide your tax-exempt ID number and a copy of the tax-exempt certificate. This fee is to cover administrative costs.
  • Other Fees: All events, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, will be responsible for paying any applicable security deposits, as well as any applicable rental fees for city parks, trails, or open spaces. Rental fees for City parks and trails are:
    • $100 per day for events under 250 people
    • $200 per day for events with 250 to 2,500 people
    • $550 per day for events over 2,500 people
    There may be additional fees and deposits associated with your event depending on the location, size, and the nature of your event. Please see the Special Event Guide for additional information.
  • A Security/Damage Deposit of two-hundred and fifty dollars ($250) must be paid by the Customer prior to issuance of the Special Event Permit. This deposit, or any portion thereof, may be retained by the City to pay for any damage caused to the park or City property, or for any costs incurred by the City due to the use of the park or City property by the event. A larger damage deposit may be required if the City reasonably determines that the risk of any damage to City property from the event exceeds $250. The Customer is responsible for any damage to City property that is not covered by the security deposit.
  • Specific to Civic Center Park Event Area (Washington Park & Civic Center Park) or events with alcohol, security/damage deposit amounts are as follows:
    • $5,000.00 for groups of 2,500 or greater
    • $2,500.00 for groups of 1,500-2,499
    • $1,500.00 for groups of 500-1,499
    • $500.00 for groups less than 500
  • Indemnification Agreement: Prior to issuance of a permit, the applicant, and sponsor if applicable, must sign an indemnification agreement. This agreement indemnifies the City of Fort Collins from any liability, which may arise as a result of the special event. This needs to be witnessed and signed in the presence of a notary public.
  • Signatures of affected residents and/or businesses: Signatures of affected residents and/or businesses are required for any street or sidewalk blockages or closures – including residences above businesses unless other arrangements have been made with the Special Event Coordinator.

NOTE: A special event permit is not a permit to violate City codes, ordinances, rules, or regulations. If a violation occurs, it may result in citation(s) issued to the event applicant/responsible person.

Proceed to Event Application

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday
8:30 am to 4:30pm

City of Fort Collins
P.O. Box 580
Fort Collins, CO 80522

Special Event Coordinator
Phone 970-416-2303