TECO Streetcar at Dick Greco Plaza

Planning a Special Event

All bookings for special events including festivals, concerts, parades, runs, etc. that desire to take place on public property are initiated within the Office of Special Events.

A special event is defined as a pre-planned event, whether publicly and/or privately sponsored which is proposed to be held on public property, including, but not limited to parks, streets and/or sidewalks.

For events taking place entirely on private property, please contact the Development Coordination Division. 

If you are interested in a building rental, please contact the facility directly. If you would like to reserve a picnic shelter, you can book online or contact our Picnic Shelter Office.  

When is a Permit Required?

A Special Event or Facility Use Permit is required for any outdoor activity taking place on City property (streets, rights of way, or City park) with an anticipated attendance of 25 people or more. This does not generally include gatherings like birthdays, baby showers, family reunions, etc. for which a picnic shelter rental would be better suited. 

Not sure if you need a permit? Contact us at 813-274-8854 or specialevents@tampagov.net.

How Do I Apply for a Permit?

  1. Review the application process and filing deadlines. 

    Please note, applications that are not submitted within the filing deadlines will not be accepted. 

  2. Gather your information. 

    We will need to know: 

    • Type of event
    • Desired date(s)
    • Location
    • Number of people expected 
  3. Complete an Event Inquiry Form.

  4. Inquiry will be reviewed and a member of our team will contact you. 

    If your requested date and location are available, you will need to complete an application to be submitted within the specified timeline. Date and location will only be reserved once the complete application and $50 application fee are received. Applications are processed in the order of receipt. 


  1. Complete the application in its entirety and submit it with a site plan and $50 application fee within the special event filing deadlines.
  2. Application and site plan will be reviewed by all applicable City departments.
  3. An event coordination meeting with applicable City departments will be scheduled.
  4. A letter and cost estimate for City services will be sent to the applicant outlining the requirements for the event.  Depending on the type of event, the applicant may be required to obtain additional permits.
  5. Upon final approval and review by the Event Coordinator, a permit will be issued that includes certain conditions and/or restrictions for which the applicant will be responsible to meet.

Special Event Filing Deadlines

  • 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, requires City services, and/or with an estimated attendance of 301 people or more but 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 in advance 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. 
  • 6 months prior to the event date if space is available.* 

*Note, space is limited due to the popularity and features of this park. 

An insurance certificate that names the City as additionally insured will be required for events on City property as outlined in City Code Sec. 28-30.  The type of coverage required for your event will be determined during the coordination process. 

A site plan is a visual representation of all the operational event elements that you describe throughout your application. If any structures such as tents, stages, vendor booths/tables, etc are part of your event, your site plan must indicate the proposed location and general dimensions of the structure.
To properly assess the event, the site plan must be submitted along with the application and should include the following elements:

  • North, indicated by a directional arrow symbol.
  • Name of the area (Neighborhood, Park, etc.) you intend to use including surrounding streets with one-way streets indicated.
  • If the overall event area includes any requested street closures, plus the location and number of meters or parking spaces to be reserved.
  • The location and dimensions of all physical equipment being placed, including, but not limited to, any stage(s), vendors, booths, tents, signs, barricades, portable toilets, vehicles, etc.
  • Location of temporary alcohol sales where both sales and consumption occur, plus dimensions and type of fencing to be used.
  • Indicate 20 ft. wide fire lane clearances in all areas and the location of all fire hydrants.
  • Include electrical plans for vendors and stages, specifying how much each site requires, in terms of amps and volts.
  • Any other details you think are helpful in the physical description of your event.

The City of Tampa has guidance for ADA compliance at outdoor events. The ADA National Network also offers a guide to making events accessible to people with disabilities. 

A public performance or showing of a motion picture requires licensing in order to comply with the Federal Copyright Act. The City of Tampa does not provide such licensing and it is your responsibility to ensure compliance. You can contact organizations like SWANK Motion Pictures, Criterion Pictures, or Allrites for more information. 

The City of Tampa does not provide music licensing and it is your responsibility to ensure legal compliance if you are using copyrighted music at your event. You can contact organizations like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC , Global Music Rights, or AllTrack for more information. 

Chapter 28- Special Events

Chapter 16- Parks & Recreation

Sec. 14-150.1.3- List of parks where temporary alcohol permits are allowed

Sec. 27-132(6)- Temporary alcohol permits

Things to Remember:

  • A submitted inquiry or application does not guarantee event approval.
  • Applications may be rejected or denied on one or more of the following grounds as stated in City Code Sec. 28-31:
    • Failure to submit an application within the time periods outlined in Ch. 28 of the Code of Ordinances.
    • The application (including any required attachments) is incomplete.
    • The application contains material misrepresentation or fraudulent information.
    • The applicant owes money to the City from another event, services provided, or damages to City property.
    • Another completed application was received and given preliminary approval for the same date and or space.
    • If the event conflicts with planned programs conducted by the City or non-governmental agencies for the same date and time.
    • If the use or event proposed by the applicant would present an unreasonable danger to the health or safety of the public or applicant.
    • If the applicant cannot comply with applicable local, state, and federal license requirements for all or part of the planned event within the required timeline.
    • If the use or event is against the law.