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Apply for a Special Event Permit

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A Special Event Permit is required for a temporary for-profit or non-profit event, gathering, or organized activity held outside the confines of a building or permanent structure including but not limited to meetings, entertainment, performances, shows, exhibitions, street fairs, rallies, races, concerts, carnivals, or amusements held on city-owned or private property and sponsored by an applicant that is expected to draw over 200 attendees or held in a city park with more than 5,000 attendees. If the special event is providing for the sale and/or consumption of alcohol, then a Special Event Permit is required regardless of attendance.

>> Special Event Guidebook (PDF)

For special events in the Northgate District we encourage you to contact the Community Services Director or Assistant Director when you have an idea or begin planning your event. The Community Services Department can be reached at 979-764-3778.

A special event permit is needed if you are having your event in Wolf Pen Creek and the event anticipates more than 5,000 people, road closures are needed, or includes the sale/consumption of alcohol. A Wolf Pen Creek rental agreement must be completed, signed, paid in full and approved by the Parks and Recreation Director before the special events permit is applied for.

Special events held on Texas A&M University property are not permitted through the City of College Station. Please contact the University Center and Special Events Division of Student Affairs at 979-845-8903 for more information regarding events on campus.
    Permit Exemptions
    The following events may be conducted without a special event permit:

    1. An event held on city property with which a policy or procedure establishes protocols for security, public safety, sanitation, crowd control and traffic control.
    2. PARADES: any march or procession consisting of people, animals or vehicles, or a combination thereof, including athletic events, upon any public street, sidewalk or alley which does not comply with normal or usual traffic regulations or controls, and requires closing any part of the roadway to normal traffic. (This type of event would require a Parade Permit)
    3. An event in a residential structure.
    4. An athletic event held in facilities designed for athletic events.
    5. An event wholly contained on property specifically designed or suited for the event and which holds a certificate of occupancy for such use including adequate parking.
    6. Organizational functions including, but not limited to, grand openings and ribbon cutting ceremonies solely contained on the organization's property not providing for the sale or consumption of alcohol.

    Application Process
    Special event permit applications should be submitted 30 days prior to the scheduled event. All applications, application materials, and associated fees may be submitted online using eTRAKiT.

    To begin the process: 

    1. Email [email protected] requesting to be added as an eTRAKiT user.

    2. Once that is complete, sign into eTRAKiT and submit the required application materials

    Once the application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the appropriate city departments. The review time is approximately five business days upon receipt for first initial review comments. Additional time may be needed if additional documents are needed.

    Application Requirements
    In addition to the detailed information regarding the event, the following items are required as part application:

    APPLICATION FEE (see fee schedule)
    Additional fees may be required for security, EMS or street closures. Fees do not apply to non-profit organizations (proof of 501(c)3 status is required); however, fees will not be waived for any event involving the sale and/or consumption of alcohol.

    An insurance policy is required before the special event permit will be approved. The limits of liability must be equal to or greater than $500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and property damage, with an annual aggregate limit of $1,000,000. The limits shall be endorsed to be per event. The certificate of insurance must show the City of College Station as a certificate holder. The policy must be endorsed to show the City as Additional Insured with a Waiver of Subrogation in favor of the City. The insurance must be valid through the end of the event and should be issued within 30 days of the application.


    A permit bond is required for an event held on public property. The bond should be for debris clean-up and cover potential damage or injury to property in the amount of $10,000.

    The following are required to be shown, drawn to scale, on the submitted site plan: 

      •  Location of adjacent structures
      •  Location of points of ingress/egress
      •  Location of fire hydrants
      •  Location of fire lanes for use by emergency equipment with minimum width of 20 ft and height clearance of 14 ft
      •  Location and size of parking spaces
      •  Electric transmission and distribution lines on site
      •  Location and size of signs
      •  Location of sanitary facilities and trash containers
      •  Area designated for alcohol sales and/or consumption

    TENT PERMIT (if applicable)
    If a tent larger than 400 square feet or a canopy larger than 700 square feet is being used, a separate Tent Permit will be required..

    TRAFFIC CONTROL PLAN (if closing a road)
    If a lane or road closure will be implemented, a traffic control plan will need to be submitted. The submitted traffic control plan must be sealed by a licensed engineer.

    Tent Plan Requirements
    The following items are required on the submitted tent plan:

      •  Type of construction
      •  All walls
      •  Aisles
      •  Seating arrangement
      •  Structural details (calculations of seats and supports)
      •  Location of all electrical wiring
      •  Location and width of exits
      •  Location and specification of fire suppression equipment
      •  Location of sanitary facilities

    Site Inspection
    If your event is using a tent that requires a tent permit or other temporary structures the Fire Marshal’s Office will conduct an inspection prior to the start of the event.
    Sale or Consumption of Alcohol
    A special event providing for alcohol sales or consumption shall have a valid permit or license to sell or serve alcoholic beverages issued by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).

    A special event involving the sale or consumption of alcohol shall not be conducted for more than three consecutive days.

    Signs, including commercial banners and balloons, advertising or announcing a special event, as defined in the sign section under general development standards in the Unified Development Ordinance, are permitted as a part of the Special Event Permit and shall be limited to the property holding the event.

    Signage for a special event is allowed up to 14 days prior to the event and must be removed within 24 hours of the end of the event.

    Security & EMS
    The applicant shall provide Certified Peace Officers as approved by the City Manager or designee for security, crowd control, and traffic control at the event in accordance with the following schedule:

    Number of Event Attendees Minimum number of Certified Peace Officers Required
    0 to 250 0
    251 to 1,500 2
    1,501 to 3,000 4
    3,001 to 5,000 6
    Over 5,000 6, plus 1 for every 1,000 people over 5,000 at the event

    The City Manager or designee may increase or decrease the number of Certified Peace Officers from those required, if:
      •  Any alcoholic beverage is sold or served
      •  There are special needs for increased security
      •  The event required street closures or rerouting of traffic
      •  The history of the event indicates a need for a greater or lesser number

    When the presence of Certified Peace Officers is necessary, every applicant shall pay for the services of such personnel. The fee for Certified Peace Officers shall be according to the city’s off-duty pay schedule. Please reach out to the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600 for more information regarding the off-duty pay schedule.

    Depending on the size, location and whether alcohol will be present, some special events may require on-site Fire/EMS crews which will come at an additional cost. If Fire/EMS crews are needed all fees must be paid before the permit is issued. Please reach out to the Fire Department at 979-764-3705 for more information.


Visit College Station may be able to assist you! Email [email protected] or call 979-260-9898.


If you have any questions or need assistance, contact Planning & Development Services at 979-764-3570 or [email protected].

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