Special Events

1. Overview

1. Overview

Use the links above to find out everything you need to know about the permitting processes, requirements and deadlines related to holding a public event on public property. The information can also be viewed and downloaded in OSE's Special Event Planning Guide(PDF, 1MB) (Guía de planificación de actividades especiales(PDF, 1MB)).

Begin your event planning process by reviewing the Do I Need an Office of Special Event Permit (OSEP)? Checklist  (¿Necesito yo un permiso de la Oficina de Eventos Especiales? lista de verificación) to see if you must submit an OSEP application for your event. If so, find details about the OSEP's application deadlines and fees on the OSEP Fee Table and click the button below to begin (or continue) an online application.

Start an OSEP Application

Learn more about OSE by reviewing this CCD Ordinance and the (PDF, 271KB)Rules and Regulations(PDF, 395KB)  that outline its operational policies.

If you're planning a private event or an event on private property, review the Private Event Checklist(PDF, 144KB) (Lista de verificación de eventos especiales para eventos privados(PDF, 193KB)) for guidance.

2. Determine if an OSEP Application is Required for Your Event

An OSEP is only required for events that are:

  • Held on public property in the City and County of Denver (in parks, streets, sidewalks or alleyways), AND
  • Open to the public (publicly advertised, anyone can attend or buy a ticket, no invite list), AND
  • Meet two or more of the items below.
  1. Does your event take place partly or entirely within a Denver park?
  2. Does your event take place partly or entirely on a Denver street, sidewalk or alleyway?
  3. Does your event require street rolling closures? e.g., parade, race, run, walk or ride?
  4. Will your event feature tents > 200 sf, propane, fireworks, open flames or floats?
  5. Will your event utilize generators >5kW or stages/structures?
  6. Will anything be sold at your event? e.g., tickets, food, beverage, alcohol, food trucks, consumable CBD or merchandise?
  7. Will your event feature body art, animals or water features?
  8. Will your event utilize hired security or off-duty police officers?
  9. Will your event have marijuana themes, advertising or sponsors?

If your event is open to the public, held on public property and meet two or more of the above criteria, you are required to submit an application and secure an Office of Special Events Permit (OSEP). OSEP applications must be "ready to review" at least 60 days prior to the first day of your event. Applications that are “ready for review” include all applicant and special event information, a draft site map, a draft community notification, and materials required for occupancy of premise (i.e., a preliminary park permit or evidence of a pending preliminary park permit if the event is to be held in a public park and/or a traffic control plan if the event is to be held in a Denver street, sidewalk or alley). Successful completion of all application requirements applicable to your event will result in issuance of a required OSEP.

Start an OSEP Application

Events on public property such as weddings, picnics, athletics, reunions and block parties as well as events held on private property are not required to submit an OSE application.

If you are still unsure whether or not you should submit an OSE application for your event, please contact us.

3. First Steps of the Event Application Process

SuperBowlCrowd.jpg The first step to hold a public event on public property in the City and County of Denver is to submit an Office of Special Events (OSE) application. The OSE online application must be submitted no later than 60 days before the first date of your proposed event, and is in addition to other City agency applications and requirements. While it is not expected that all event application details and requirements will be finalized at the time you start your application, the following are required at the time of submission:

1.  Applicant information (Section 1 of the OSE application)

  • Event information (Section 2 of the OSE application)
  • Initial site plan (Section 4 of the OSE application)
  • Community notification flyer (Section 5 of the OSE application)
  • Premise documents
  • Preliminary Park Permit for events in parks
  • Traffic Control Plan for events in right-of-way

2.  OSE will review your application and assign you an OSE point of contact (POC) who will support you through the process and answer your questions. While you will be able to email and call your OSE POC, most communication and application management will take place through OSE’s online application system.

3.  Based on the information provided in your application, requirements that apply to your event will be identified, and next steps communicated.

4.  You and your vendors (if applicable) will work with other City agencies to complete necessary permits and meet requirements.

5.  All Denver permits and approvals must be obtained five days prior to the first day of event set up.

6.  Once all permits and approvals from City agencies have been obtained, OSE will issue an OSEP indicating that all city requirements have been met and the event may move forward.

Timing of Application Submissions

  • 90 Days Prior: First time and complex events are advised to submit their applications 90 days prior to the first event date.
  • 60 Days Prior: For events in Denver parks and in the public right-of-way, organizers must submit their applications 60 days prior to the first permitted date. Late submissions for events in parks will not be accepted and late submissions for events in the public-right-of-way will be assessed late fees.
  • 30 Days Prior: Special event applications submitted less than 30 days prior to the first event date will not be accepted by any City agencies.

4. Event Application Timeline

Below is a timeline guide that highlights the most common requirements that events will complete within the city planning process. Every event may not need to complete all of the following steps, and some less-common requirements are not listed. Refer to your Office of Special Events application to see which steps are required for your event.

Minimum 60 Days Prior to Event

Apply for a Park Permit (Denver Parks and Recreation) IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to hold your event in a Denver park, you must get your preliminary Park Permit BEFORE beginning the OSE application)

Submit a Special Event Application (Office of Special Events)

Apply for a street or sidewalk closure (Department of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Submit request to reserve parking meters (Department of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Create an Emergency Medical Plan (Department of Public Health and Environment)

Begin working with DDPHE on noise levels (Department of Public Health and Environment)

Minimum 45 Days Prior to Event

Submit plans to RTD for impacts to bus routes or stops (RTD)

Distribute initial community notifications (Office of Special Events)

Minimum 30 Days Prior to Event

Submit Emergency Action Plan (Office of Special Events)

Apply for DPD permit for parades, walks or runs on streets (Denver Police Department)

Request off-duty officers (Denver Police Department)

Apply for Special Events Liquor License (Excise and License Department) NOTE: pre-requisites are required

Apply for Fire Permit(s) (Denver Fire Department) NOTE: Earlier if also applying for a liquor license

Licensed generator and stage contractors apply for Building and Electrical Permits (Denver Development Services

Ensure all vendors have proper sales tax licenses (Denver Treasury Department)

Ensure all vendors have proper food service licenses (Department of Public Health AND Environment and Excise and License Department)

All City Requirements Must be Met and Submitted 5 Days Prior to Event to Obtain an OSEP

5. How to Meet Denver's Event Requirements

The following information describes many of the requirements that you will need to meet to hold a public event on public property in the City and County of Denver. Various City departments and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) all manage different event applications and approval processes and enforce different deadlines (refer to the event application timeline).

Every event may not need to complete all of the following items and some less-common requirements are not listed. Refer to your Office of Special Event (OSE) application to see which steps are required for your event and consult with City Department contacts and your OSE Point of Contact (POC) for more information.