Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you can't find the answer to what you are looking for or need additional information, please email us at email@example.com.
A celebration like a festival, fair, concert, parade or run held on City property or Right of Way that expects 301 or more people, requires city services, street closures, and/or alcohol.
Yes, all organized activities that expect 25-300 people on City property need a permit.
A Facility Use Permit is required for:
- A proposed activity desiring to reserve use of a recreational facility.
- Any event taking place in a city park with an estimated number of participants and spectators of 25 or more.
- A proposed activity that includes commercial activity. Only available to non-profit organizations per City Codes Sec. 16-43 and Sec. 16-44.
Organized athletic activities are limited to designated areas and must be permitted through the Athletics Office.
- A minimum of 90 days prior to the event date for any event requiring street closures, city services, and/or alcohol.
- A minimum of 60 days prior to the event date for an event that occurs solely in a park with an estimated attendance of 301 people or more and does not require any street closure.
- A minimum of 30 days prior to the event date for an event that occurs solely in a park with an estimated attendance of 25-300 people and does not require any street closure or city services.
For Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park the booking priority is as follows:
- 12-18 months prior to event date for major events (over 5000 in attendance), which are limited to 1 per month. The schedule is then reserved for Tampa River Center, Boathouse, and athletic activities permitting and scheduling up to 6 months in advance.
- 6 months prior to the event date if the space is available.*
*Note, space is limited due to the popularity and features of this park.
Free speech and demonstration activities are protected under the First Amendment and we work with many groups that want to demonstrate or gather in public spaces on short notice. Generally, you may have a gathering, but it cannot interfere with other permitted activities like planned events, shelter reservations, or general park use (think playgrounds, splashpads, ball fields, etc.), and it does not impede traffic or disrupt other services. There are also prohibitions against commercial activities such as fundraising or vending without a permit.
To protect the City from liability and the condition of public spaces, we do not allow outside equipment to be brought in (stages, tents, vendors, sound systems, etc.) without going through the event permit process.
Per City Codes Sec.16-21 and 16-43, anyone that wants to go into a City of Tampa park and provide food to those experiencing homelessness, while not setting up any equipment and with an anticipated attendance of less than fifty (50), is welcome to do so without explicit permission. We just ask that you let our office know ahead of time so that we may inform the park staff.
Any event that has an attendance of fifty (50) or more, exceeds a simple table set-up, or includes commercial activity would need to comply with permitting requirements.
Yes. If you are a pop-up picnic company, you will need to submit a request for a permit. You will need to provide insurance, pay for the greenspace fee and get prior approval for park use. You can contact our office to process your permit. Please note, pop-up picnics are not permitted at all parks and no alcohol is allowed.
We don’t currently have permits for busking. You can perform in our parks, but since commercial activity is not allowed you can’t directly request payment or charge a fee. You would not be able to set up any extensive equipment, risers, tables, chairs, etc. and amplified sound would not be allowed per City Code Sec. 16-48.
There is no permit just for amplified sound. If you are having an event and are going through the permitting process with us, it would be included as part of your event permit per Sec. 28-57 of the City Code.
If you are having an event on private property, you will need to contact the Development Coordination Division for more information.
Food trucks are licensed by the State of Florida. If you would like to vend in our parks, you would need to be a part of a permitted special event as commercial activity is not allowed. Vending is also prohibited within the Right-of-Way or from a parking space. City Code Sec. 27-282.30 requires that the truck be located on a parcel and meet the required setbacks on that parcel.
Maybe. If you want to set up anything (arch, tables/chairs, etc) or will have more than 25 people- yes.
If you are considering one of our beach parks, please note that our parks close at sunset and you would not be able to set up anything on the beach/sand area.
There are other factors to take into account. Please contact us for more information.
Reservations are not required, but highly recommended. Once a shelter is reserved, it may be used for the entire day as we only take one reservation per day.
If a shelter is not reserved, it may be used on a first-come, first-served basis; however, you would not be allowed to have a bounce house.
Although a shelter may have electrical outlets and water spigots, we cannot guarantee electricity or water will be available.
We always recommend that you visit the park in person to make sure the shelter you select meets the needs of your party and group size. Popular parks include Al Lopez Park, Ballast Point Park, Copeland Park, Lowry Park, Macfarlane Park, Picnic Island Park, and Rowlett Park. If you need assistance selecting a location or have questions, contact our Picnic Shelter Office.
You must have a shelter reservation in order to have a bounce house. After you've made your reservation, select a vendor from the Approved Vendor List as they will have the required insurance to operate in City of Tampa parks. You may only have one bounce house per shelter rental. It must be a dry bounce only, nothing with water. Not every park can have a bounce house, please contact the Picnic Shelter Office for more information.
DJ's and amplified sound are not allowed with picnic shelter reservations. We recommend using a small battery-operated speaker for your enjoyment.
It depends how you are planning to do the reveal as we do have some restrictions. No powder, confetti, smoke bombs, water, or explosives are allowed in our parks. If you have any questions, please contact the Picnic Shelter Office.
Most of our shelters do have grills provided, but if you'd like to bring your own it can only be a small propane, gas, or canned fuel (sterno) grill.
You can also have a licensed caterer bring a mobile barbeque grill or smoker for your party; however, they must provide us with insurance and copy of their license. This must be done with advanced notice so please let us know at least two weeks prior to your reservation date.