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Special Event Permits
The City of Cedar Rapids requires a Special Event Permit any time an event or its related components are located inside the Cedar Rapids municipal boundary and include the use of:
- Public streets;
- Public rights-of-way;
- Public parks and City-owned property;
- Outdoor private property when the property is part of a special event venue that includes City public property (e.g. a private property used as a parking lot for part of a festival event where City property is used during the event); and
- Coordination of a number of City Departments or other agencies (e.g. for the use of alcohol, on-site cooking, food sales, large temporary structures).
Some examples of special events may include:
- Farmers’ markets; and
- Other events that meet the criteria listed above.
Additional, specific event types include:
Protests, demonstrations, candlelight vigils or rallies are considered First Amendment rights; therefore, a Special Event permit may not be needed for these types of events. Organizers are asked to contact the City Manager’s Office at (319) 286-5080 to verify no events are scheduled in the areas where protests are being planned — and to ensure proper City departments are notified of the event.
Application & Deadlines
Individuals, organizations and businesses hosting Special Events MUST submit an application for a Special Event Permit at least sixty (60) days prior to the date of the event.
You will need a special event permit for:
- An organized gathering of 50 or more persons outdoors at any public park, trail, public place, or upon any public right-of-way, except for use of public facilities being utilized within their design specifications (i.e. large park pavilions, amphitheaters, etc.);
- An organized activity on private property that has an effect on a public right-of-way which will significantly alter conditions normally experienced on the public right-of-way; and
- An event, gathering, or organized activity on either public or private property that presents significant public safety or other concerns as determined by the City Manager or City Manager’s Designee.
City staff will review all Special Event Applications and return a Special Event Permit outlining conditions that must be met for the event to be held, including necessary insurance requirements. The applicant will be required to sign/agree to these requirements and submit all necessary documentation. The permit will not be approved if the conditions are not met.
A Special Event Permit may be revoked if an event does not adhere to permitted requirements.
All Special Event applications are subject to final approval by the Cedar Rapids City Manager and/or City Council.
Not sure what type of event you are hosting?
Contact the City Manager’s Office before submitting your Special Event Permit application:
Apply for a Permit
Steps to apply for a Special Event Permit:
- Press the "Launch My CR" button blow.
- A login is required for completing permit applications. You will need to login or register an account before continuing.
- Once logged in, navigate to Special Events » Special Event Application and complete the application.
- Getting stuck? View our detailed guide to My CR.
Please note: We anticipate introducing a $50 Special Event Application fee in 2024 to help offset City costs related to Special Event coordination.
Other Special Events Info
Special Event Committee
The city of Cedar Rapids has a coordinated group of city staff who work together to manage requests for special events. The Event Committee has representatives who can answer all of your questions about putting on an event in Cedar Rapids such as street closures, park use, off-duty police officers, and insurance requirements.
Special Event Public Safety Funds (Police)
Your special event may qualify for Cedar Rapids City Council designated funds specifically for off-duty police officers the City required for your event. The policy, council approved resolution and application are here:
Please contact the City Manager's Office for assistance at 319-286-5080
Does your event require meter hooding downtown?
Contact Park Cedar Rapids at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-365-7275