Planning an Event

Contact Information
Recreation and Neighborhoods Division
Renton, WA 98057

The City of Renton Community Services Department has approved decision to not issue Special Event Permits through November 1, 2020


The City of Renton is not issuing permits for major events until further notice - adhering to guidance from the State of Washington and Public Health - Seattle & King County. These include major cultural events, run/walk events, street events, festivals, and vendor fairs.

To prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the Puget Sound region, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued the  "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order  prohibiting public gatherings on February 29, 2020. On June 1, Governor Inslee issued his Safe Start proclamation that transitions from "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" to "Safe Start, Stay Healthy" through a county-by-county phased reopening. 

Currently, King County is in Phase 2 of the Governor's phased re-opening strategy. Under the Governor's plan, gatherings of over 50 people are not allowed until Phase 4.

Under Phase 2, all major events, run/walk events, street events, festivals and vendor fairs remain prohibited. The City of Renton continues to monitor developments from the Governor's office, and guidance from Public Health-Seattle & King County, the Washington Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention regarding COVID-19 and all re-opening guidance.  

The City of Renton Community Services Department has approved an administrative decision to not issue Special Event Permits through November 1, 2020.  The Committee normally requires 90 days to coordinate major events, and with the expectation of more information to review with Phased health and social distancing requirements, the required lead time cannot be reduced.


Can I get a permit to hold a rally/demonstration/march?

Special event permits are currently not being issued for public gatherings, including protests, demonstrations, rallies, and marches, as we adhere to public health guidelines provided by the State and Public Health - Seattle & King County.   

I have an idea for a “socially distant” event. Can I get a special event permit?

There has been a growing interest in holding "socially distant" events, such as car parades, drive-in theaters, porch concerts, and more. While the Special Events Committee recognizes the good intentions behind creating such events, permits for public gatherings will not be issued at this time.  However, if you have confirmed with Public Health - Seattle & King County that your event may meet State and public health social distancing requirements, please contact our office to discuss the proposal. 

Can I hold an event without a permit?

Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-25 which included the following directive: 

"[a]ll people in Washington State shall immediately cease participating in all public and private gatherings and multi-person activities for social, spiritual and recreational purposes, regardless of the number of people involved, except as specifically identified herein."

That Proclamation was subsequently amended by Proclamation 20-25.4 to allow a phased reopening by County, but to date, King County is in Phase 2, where all major events, run/walk events, street events, festivals and vendor fairs remain prohibited. 

Is the Special Events Office accepting applications for events scheduled for later in 2020?

There has been a growing interest in holding "socially distant" events, such as car parades, drive-in theaters, porch concerts, and more. While the Special Events Committee recognizes the good intentions behind creating such events, permits for public gatherings will not be issued at this time.  However, if you have confirmed with Public Health - Seattle & King County that your event may meet State and public health social distancing requirements, please contact our office to discuss the proposal. 

How do I cancel my Special Event permit application?

Yes, we are currently accepting applications for events scheduled after November 1, 2020. Applications are due 90 days before the requested event date. Please note, there is no guaranteed approval of event dates at this time as we continue to monitor the public health impacts and guidance for addressing COVID-19 in our region.

My event was canceled due to COVID-19. Can I get a refund of my permit fees?

Please contact our office to cancel your event. We will inform the Special Events Committee and related agencies of the cancellation.  

Can I reschedule my event?

The Special Events Committee is working to develop policies and procedures for rescheduling events affected by this crisis. Please contact our office for more information.  

Will my insurance cover my losses for my canceled event?

Insurance policies vary. Please consult with your insurance provider.

Is there any help available for businesses or individuals who are suffering financial losses due to these event cancellations?

Please see the City of Renton COVID-19 Resource Page for individual and business resources.

The Washington Festivals and Events Association (WFEA) and International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) have the most up to date information on regional and national assistance for the events industry:  

International Festivals and Events Association

Washington Festivals and Events Association

Additional useful information: 

King County COVID-19 Handbook for Creative Industries

Whipsmart!

The City of Renton plays a strong role in helping event planners bring people together safely and successfully in small to large-scale events. Individuals planning to hold an event the the city may need to obtain a Special Event Permit.

Events that may qualify would include those planned in whole or in part on public property or private property, and/or that affect the ordinary use of public streets, right-of-ways, trails or sidewalks.

Events that require additional city services above and beyond what would normally be provided (such as police escorts, traffic control, sanitation, and clean-up required to support the event) may also need a special event permit.

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