Special Event Permit Application Process


A Special Event Permit is required if your gathering has any of the following elements:

  • 50 or more participants
  • Use of amplified sound
  • Any advertising or sponsorship activities
  • Selling and/or distributing food, goods or merchandise (this includes exercise classes or boot camps)
  • Liquor
  • Tents
  • Inflatables
  • Stages
  • Walk/Run Route
  • Specific location reservations

Download the 2013 Special Event Permit Application

Permit Process

1.       Choose a specific location and date for your event (please consult the downloadable maps to the left for lakefront locations). You are encouraged to choose an alternative location and/or date in the event that your first choice is not available. If you are unsure whether or not a permit is required for your event, please refer to Chapter 7 of the Chicago Park District Code or call the Department of Revenue at (312) 742-5369.

2.       Complete all sections of the Chicago Park District Special Event Permit Application. All proposed activities and events are subject to the approval of the Chicago Park District. The Chicago Park District will not consider your submittal if the application is incomplete and does not include the $35 application fee.

3.       Submit the completed application and $35 application fee by e-mail, U.S. mail, delivery in person, or fax to the Department of Revenue or appropriate Region Office. Submittal of an application does not grant you a permit or confirmation to conduct your planned event; all applications are subject to review. Completed applications with appropriate fees and requested documentation/information must be submitted at least 45 or 30 days prior to your event depending on your permit level; otherwise, late fees may apply.

Please note: Only applications delivered in person to 541 N. Fairbanks Ct. will be processed on January 7, 2013 beginning at 8:00 a.m. Applications submitted by mail, e-mail and fax, and all applications received prior to 8:00 a.m. on January 7, 2013 will not be processed until January 8, 2013. The Chicago Park District cannot guarantee that all applications received prior to January 7, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. will be processed in the order received on January 8, 2013. Furthermore, only completed applications submitted with the $35 application fee will be processed.

4.       The Chicago Park District processes applications for permits in order of receipt. The Chicago Park District will not consider your submittal without a completed application and a $35 application fee.

5.       Upon receiving your completed application and $35 application fee, the Chicago Park District will contact you within 14 days to inform you of the status of your application. You will be informed of any remaining fees that must be paid along with any additional documentation requirements. The Chicago Park District reserves the right require additional information or documentation regarding the applicant, applicant’s company, sponsoring company/organization, cosponsors, event participants, event vendors, event activities, or the event itself. Moreover, the Chicago Park District may postpone approval of event permits until receipt of additional requested information or documentation. Failure to submit requested information or documentation in a timely manner may be cause for denial of a park permit.

6.       Applicants must submit two documents to satisfy insurance requirements. A (1) Certificate of General Liability Insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 naming the Chicago Park District as “additional insured” and the certificate holder for the date(s) of your event including set up and tear down dates. Applicants must also submit an (2) Endorsement document, issued by the insurance carrier. The Endorsement document is issued under the applicant’s General Liability policy of insurance, including coverage for property damage while park property is occupied by the permittee, for the event that reflects that the Chicago Park District is an additional insured for the event.

Your permit will not be issued if both the Certificate of Insurance and Endorsement document have not been received and approved 48 hours prior to an event.

7.       Applicants are required to inform the Chicago Park District in writing of any and all amendments to the original application prior to the event day.

8.       Once all of the Chicago Park District’s requirements have been fulfilled, including receipt or all documents and full payment, a Special Event Permit will be issued.

9.       Please note: Costs incurred promoting and marketing events prior to the issuance of an approved Chicago Park District Special Event Permit, and changes/modifications relative to the event from the Chicago Park District and/or the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and other City of Chicago departments is at the sole expense and risk of the Event Organizer.

Submit the completed Special Event Permit Application to:

Department of Revenue

Administration Office

541 N. Fairbanks Ct., 4th Floor

Chicago, IL 60611

Telephone: (312) 742-5369

Fax: (312) 742-6038

TTY: (312) 747-2001


North Region

North Region Office

6601 N. Western Ave.

Chicago, IL 60645

Telephone: (773) 262-8658


Central Region

Central Region Office

100 N. Central Park Ave.

Chicago, IL 60624

Telephone: (312) 746-5962


South Region

South Region Office

3344 W. 71st St.

Chicago, IL 60629

Telephone: (312) 747-7661


If you have any additional questions, please consult or Frequently Asked Questions page. Also, feel free to contact our office with any additional questions: (312) 742-5369.