Organizing a Special Event

The City of Springfield encourages individuals and groups to organize events, and to be aware of the steps they need to take to ensure they are safe and adhere to all laws, regulations and codes.

No two community events are the same, so there is no simple process or explanation for how an individual event must be permitted. Staff members in the Public Information Department, however, are here to assist you through the process.

The one step that is consistent for everyone is advance planning and knowledge of the City’s Special Event Permit Application process that includes certain requirements in order to ensure public safety.

No matter what your event is — a parade, concert, run/walk/marathon, circus, etc. — if it’s held in a public space (City facilities, parks and City streets or sidewalks), you must take the proper steps for planning your event.

COVID-19: Certain rules apply for mass gatherings as a precaution for preventing the spread of COVID-19 among your event participants and the community at large. The City's event permit application contains questions and details concerning compliance with the City of Springfield's current ordinances. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department offers a COVID-19 Toolkit for Tourism and Events as a guide to help event coordinators create or enhance their COVID-19 prevention and response policy. Event planners should coordinate all planning efforts with the Health Department by calling 417-874-1211 or emailing [email protected] or [email protected].

Don’t miss the application deadline!

Timing is everything when organizing an event. Involve the City in your planning as soon as possible by submitting your Event Application or attending an Event Committee meeting at least 60 days prior to the first event date. Communicate your expectations clearly to us:

  • How many people do you expect to attend?
  • Where will the event be located? If you’re not sure where you would like your event to be held, we would be happy to help you determine a safe route or event location.
  • Do you need to rent City/Park property?
  • Do any of the events involve the use of public streets/sidewalks/property
  • Will you be using tents or hanging signs/banners?
  • Will food, alcohol, or beer be sold?
  • Will you need to hire extra duty police officers?

The greatest advantage to the City’s new streamlined application process is that you have a central point of contact through the process. What you have to keep in mind, though, is that the Public Information Department coordinates with many other City Departments to respond to your application. Those departments will contact you directly, following a review period of no more than 10 business days to discuss requirements for your specific event. These requirements, however, could take you weeks to meet, depending on your specific situation and event.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017 the deadline for applying for a special event permit which will also secure a date and location will be 60 days prior to the event date. Applications are reviewed by City staff within 10 business days and any additional requirements will be outlined at that time.

All completed paperwork is due 30 days prior to event date. Those failing to meet this deadline will receive a permit denial.