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Festivals & Events
The City of San José has many special event venues for concerts, festivals or walk-a-thons. Venues include iconic locations in the heart of downtown San José such as Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Guadalupe River Park & Gardens – Discovery Meadow and Arena Green as well as the historic St. James Park. We also offer locations for events in beautiful regional park settings like Almaden Lake, Emma Prusch Farm and Lake Cunningham, not to mention our scenic trail systems such as Guadalupe River Trail and Los Alamitos Creek Trail that are ideal for walks and runs. permits festival

What is a Special Event?

The Special Park Use Unit is responsible for issuing permits to organizations wanting to host a public Event within a City of San Jose park.Any event or activity that is outside the normal parameters of what a location is designated for may be considered a special event.The following criteria may trigger a Special Park Use permit:

  • Advertising that is open to the public
  • Amplified sound
  • Distributing or selling food, alcohol or merchandise
  • Requiring special set ups of stages, tents or other items
  • Requiring additional permit and/or services from other departments (i.e. Police, Fire, County Health)

If you are planning to host an Anniversary Party, Birthday Party, Wedding in a San Jose park please call (408) 794-7275.
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Request Form

This request form is to be used for all first time special event inquiries for organizers who are interested in holding an event in a City of San José park between the months of April 1st to October 31st. Please note that this form is not an application. The application will be provided once the request form has been reviewed and a meeting is held to discuss your proposed event. For medium and large scale events, this request form must be submitted 90 days in advance of the requested event date and for small scale event, no less than 60 days from the requested event date. If you have submitted your request form and not heard back from the Special Park Use Unit in two weeks, please call 408-794-6500.


Fees for special events vary based on your activities. It is recommended that you complete a request form the Special Park Use Unit will then assist you in obtaining an estimate of the fees for the park use. The following links provide additional information and guidelines.