Planning a Special Event

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Thank you for choosing City of Renton as you begin your event planning process. Special events build a sense of community, belonging, create memories, traditions and provide bonding that every community needs for economic and emotional growth. Our goal is to encourage and support the interaction of residents, visitors, families, large and small community groups to come together and share a common experience. Again, we thank you for choosing City of Renton as the host community for your event.

Special Event Permits

Special Event Permit applications are being accepted. Events must be in alignment with and adhere to the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery Phased Reopening Plan.

Each application is reviewed by a committee comprised of various city departments. Staff reviewing each bring their area of expertise to the process to ensure a safe and memorable experience for event planners, attendees and our community members. Please understand that we are operating city-wide under a significantly modified capacity and will be strictly adhering to all required timelines.

Special Event Permit Application

Do I need a special event permit?

If your event is a pre-planned activity that involves the use of, or has impact on, public property, facilities and/or needs the provisions of City public safety services then yes.

Examples of special events include but are not limited to parades, demonstrations, concerts, run/walk events, celebrations, commercial or non-profit/fundraising forms of entertainment, amusement, and cultural recognition.

If your event is on private property, but may still impact public safety services, you may be required to obtain a special events permit. If you can answer yes to any of the following, a special event permit will likely be needed.

Why do I need a special event permit?

  • assure that an activity meets legal requirements of the use of public land and right of ways.
  • assure the City, that adequate services such as traffic control, sanitation, and public safety issues are addressed.
  • identify any conflicts with other events that may be scheduled or activities that may unreasonably infringe upon access to services and allow the City and promoter a timely opportunity to address them.

Can I hold an event without a permit?

A Special Events Permit is required for public or private event activity on public or private property that has impact to surrounding neighborhood or requires substantial public services, including:

1. Any event planned to be held in a park or other public place that meets the following criteria:

- The activity is reasonably expected to cause or result in more than fifty people gathering in a park or other public place: and

- Reasonably expected to have a substantial impact on the park or other public place; and

- Requires the provision of substantial public services; and

- The event will require the temporary closure or exclusive use of a public place or waterway, OR

2. Any event planned to be held on private property that meets the following criteria:

- Is reasonably expected to cause or result in more than five hundred (500) people gathering; and

- Is reasonably expected to have a substantial impact on public or neighbors; and

- Is reasonably expected to require the provision of substantial public services, OR

3. Any other planned event in a park, other public place, or private property if the event organizer requests the City to provide any public services in addition to those that would normally be provided by the City in the absence of the event.

How do I cancel my special event permit application?

All permit and event cancellations are required in writing from the event originator, referencing the event date and event name and must be received 30 days prior to your event date.

Do I need insurance?

Yes. You will be required to provide either a commercial general liability or special events liability insurance certificate with minimum liability limits of one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence; two million dollars ($2,000,000) aggregate.

  • In the certificate it shall name the City of Renton as a certificate holder and the city as additional insured on a primary and non-contributory basis.

  • The certificate shall reference the dates and name of the special event being covered by the liability insurance.

  • Coverage shall be written for a period not less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the event and extending for a period not less than twenty-four (24) hours following the completion of the event.

  • Additional insurance may be required following a review of the event application by our Human Resources and Risk Management Division.

  • If the event applicant or organizer is unable to obtain liability insurance coverage, they may be able to purchase a single event policy through the “TULIP Program” recommended by the City’s insurance provider – Washington Cities Insurance Authority. For more information, please contact City of Renton Risk Management Department 425-430-7650.


For more information visit Frequently Asked Questions

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