Process to Submit a Special Event Permit Application
Step 1 - Pay the initial $35.00 Permit Application Fee
This processing fee is required for each application. Additional permit fees due after the date and location have been secured. Please note the application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.
Note regarding COVID: Applications for any size group or activity may be submitted. However, no later than 30 days prior to the event date, adjustments may be required to ensure the event meets current guidance.
Step 2 - Submit a completed Special Event Permit Application along with a site plan.
Site plans are required for ALL events.
A route map with step-off times is required for all run/walk/bike and parades.
Mobile users must save the PDF as a file before editing is possible. Application is best viewed in Chrome or Internet Explorer browsers. Best practice is to download the form, save the completed application, then submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application review process takes a minimum of 14 days. Correspondence is sent via email to the account used to purchase the Special Event Permit Application Fee.
If the requested date/location is available the applicant will receive an email with a link to the pending permit which is a conditional approval.
If the requested date/location is unavailable, the applicant will be contacted via email for alternate options.
If the request cannot be fulfilled, the applicant will receive an email notification that the application has been denied and the reason why.
Upon receipt of the pending permit, additional fees and documents (such as insurance) are due according to the deadlines listed in the Special Event Permit Application and on the pricing page.
Event organizers are required to obtain general liability insurance. Rolei Financial Services (312) 654-8200 is the preferred provider, however organizers may use another provider of their own choosing.
Once all the Park District’s requirements have been fulfilled, the Chicago Park District will issue its Special Event Permit for the event via email.
Outdoor events held in the City of Chicago must complete a Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Event Permit Application if the event:
- Will close City streets (street closures are not allowed for private events);
- Will prepare food on a public street/sidewalk or private property (open to the public);
- Will sell/serve alcohol;
- Will sell merchandise;
- Have tent(s) larger than 20 ft. x 20 ft. (400 sq. ft.); OR
- Have stage(s) taller than 2 ft.
Security deposit refunds will be automatically submitted for processing within 30 business days after the event, presuming there are no damages or violations. Refunds are made to the original form of payment. If deposit is paid with cash, a check will be mailed. Checks are mailed to the address as listed on the permit holder’s account.
- Choosing a Location
Prior to starting the application process, organizers must choose a location for their event. Lakefront Maps are available below or click here to Find a Facility. Because site availability information cannot be obtained prior to submitting an application, it is recommended that organizers provide as many alternative dates and/or locations in the space provided on the first page of the Special Event Permit Application.
- Permit Related COVID-19 Updates
All events and the applicant’s staff working the event, including but not limited to volunteers, guests, vendors, concessionaires and exhibitors are subject to and must abide by all local, state, and federal codes, rules, regulations, ordinances, statutes, and laws including those of the Chicago Park District, the City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois. Below are links to the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois guidelines for Phase IV.
City of Chicago:
State of Illinois:
For questions, contact us at PermitApp@ChicagoParkDistrict.com or leave a voicemail at (312) 763-6710 and a staff member will return your call.
- 2023 Events
Available starting Friday, November 4, 2022 at 9am.
- Lakefront Maps
Groves (Permittable Space) are denoted by a dark green circle with a grove number in the center.
Map - Burnham Park (1) 2MB 12/20/2012
Map - Burnham Park (2) 172KB 12/20/2012
Map - Grant Park 155KB 12/20/2012
Map - Jackson Park 308KB 12/20/2012
Map - Lincoln Park (1) 150KB 12/20/2012
Map - Lincoln Park (2) 311KB 12/20/2012
Map - Lincoln Park (3) 291KB 12/20/2012
Map - Lincoln Park (4) 149KB 12/20/2012
Map - Museum Campus Map 1MB 12/20/2012
- Map - Rainbow Park 268KB 12/20/2012
View our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about this process.
For any other questions, please call us at (312) 763-6710.