Step 1. Site Selection
This Venue Maps Link will take you to a list of public spaces frequently used for events. Capacity and relevant site specifications are also included. Once you have identified your preferred site, please remember that your use of the site is only confirmed once the permit is issued. If you are interested in using parks, you should contact the Special Parks Unit (SPU) office to ensure the park is available.
ALERT FOR PARK AVENUE: As of January 2020, Park Avenue between Almaden Boulevard and Market Street is unavailable for use by the City’s temporary outdoor special event program. Three separate construction sites will be underway in this area from January 2020 to fall 2024. During this period, Park Avenue will be temporarily re-configured to support these construction projects and traffic management. As projects in this area near completion, updates on the future use of Park Avenue for the temporary outdoor special event program will be available. Until then, event organizers are to build event proposals without the use of Park Avenue between Almaden Boulevard and Market Street.
Step 2. Event Application
Using the Special Event Application Link please fill out the application in its. You may submit the application online only. If you have any questions about the application process, contact the OCA (Office of Cultural Affairs) at (408) 793.4344 or reference the Special Event Guidelines Link. A Special Events Application must be received a minimum of 45 days prior to event.
Step 3. Event Review
OCA staff will coordinate your application through the various departments that need to review it before the permit may be issued. We may need to call you from time to time to ask questions, and we may ask you to come in for a pre-event meeting. This process typically takes 45 days, but we ask that you submit your application 90 days (or up to a year) in advance.
Step 4. Conditional Approval and Pre-Event Meetings
If your event is approved, you will receive a Conditional Authorization Letter from OCA indicating that your permit has been approved. Any conditions for conducting the event or further instructions will be listed in the Conditional Authorization Letter. Depending on the specifics of your event pre-event meetings will then be held with all coordinating parties and city services.
Step 5. Final Approval
Once all stakeholders and city services have signed off on the event you will receive Event Authorization Letter form OCA. This document is to be signed and return to OCA. At which point you event has permitted and you can now execute your event.
Step 6. Post-Event Review
OCA will review feedback from a variety of sources (e.g. Police, nearby businesses, etc.), as well as the management of the event site. You will be responsible for any damage or clean-up. We may have suggestions for ways to improve the event in the future. A file on your event will be kept for two years. Should you wish to secure another permit for the same event within the next two years, an expedited process may be made available to you, based on the prior success of your event under the initial permit.