Host An Event In Gainesville


Events bring our neighbors together. They help build a sense of belonging and community. Certain events require a Special Events Permit. If you are an event organizer, this page will guide you to host a successful event. 

Special Events FAQs

What is considered a special event?

A special event is a non-routine happening that brings people together within the City of Gainesville. Special events can occur on city-owned property, public right-of-ways, and private property. They require City services to ensure safety and coordination. Special events include, but are not limited to, activities such as festivals, concerts, sporting events, parades, walks and runs.

When do I need a Special Event Permit?

Events that need a permit

You must apply for a Special Event permit on all public, city-owned, and private property where the event will affect public safety and city services. You must complete a Special Event application if you have any of the following activities at your event:

  • 50+ people
  • Alcohol
  • Animals
  • Athletic events (5Ks/running events or walkathons)
  • Rental of city facilities
  • Drones
  • Event advertisement signs
  • Film production
  • Food vendors
  • Noise
  • Parking
  • Road and/or sidewalk closures
  • Retail sales
  • Special effects
  • Temporary structures
  • Temporary utilities
  • Traffic control
  • Waste and recycling

Events that do not need a permit:

Small events like birthday parties and community celebrations that occur at a public park and will not affect city services do not need a special event permit. The City of Gainesville has wonderful parks that are in high demand. It is highly recommended that you reserve facilities (for a fee) or arrive early when the park opens to “claim” a spot.

Reserve a park or facility 

How much does a Special Event Permit cost?

The base fee for a special event permit is $67. Additional services may be applicable based on the activities at your event. Below is a sample of popular activity fees. Please refer to the Code of Ordinances Appendix A for all current fees.

 Special Event Permit Application Fee   $67
 Temporary Alcohol Fee  $465.25 (City Special Event) + $54.50 (City Zoning) + $25 (State ABT)
 GFR Safety Inspection Fee  $173.75
 GFR Tent Inspection Fee  $87
 GPD Off-Duty Officer (3 hours)  $225
 No Parking Signs  $37.50 (labor) + $25 (setup) + $5 (materials)

How long does it take to get a Special Event Permit?

It takes 3-4 weeks to review and process a permit application once submitted. We encourage you to apply for a permit as early as possible. This allows time to schedule inspections or site visits and to promote the event.

Where can I have a Special Event?

Special Events can occur on public, city-owned, and private property. Here is a list of common city-owned locations where Special Events occur. 

City Facilities:

  • A. Quinn Jones Museum, 1013 NW 7th Avenue
  • Bo Diddley Plaza, 111 E University Avenue
  • Depot Park, 200 SE Depot Avenue
  • Ironwood Golf Course, 2100 NE 39th Avenue
  • Rosa B. Williams Center, 524 NW 1st Street
  • Thomas Center, 302 NE 6th Avenue

Recreation Centers:

  • Albert Ray Massey Recreation Center, 1001 NW 34th Street
  • Clarence R Kelly Community Center, 1700 NE 8th Avenue
  • Eastside Community Center, 2841 E University Avenue
  • Gainesville Senior Recreation Center, 5701 NW 34th Blvd
  • MLK Multipurpose Center, 1028 NE 14th Street
  • Porters Community Center, 512 SW 2nd Terrace
  • TB McPherson Recreation Center, 1717 SE 15th Street
  • Thelma Boltin Center, 516 NE 2nd Avenue

For a full list of city-owned parks and facilities, visit the Explore Gainesville page. 

Do I need a City Special Event permit if I got one from the County / State?

Yes! All Events that are held in the City or on City property must go through the Special Event process including events that pass through the City limits (like on the Hawthorne Trail).


Application Form


How To Host A Special Event

Apply : Fill out the Special Events Permit application form (see below).

Approval : The Special Event Coordinator will route your application for review and approvals. Sometimes, you will be asked to provide more information or to tweak your plans to ensure a safe event. Once you pay your fees, you will be given your permit number.

Event : Have an amazing event! All your hard work and planning pays off. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

Settle : After your event, it’s time to settle up. If there are any outstanding balances, you will be sent an invoice for payment. Then start thinking about the next event you’d like to host!


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