Special Events

1. Overview

Click on the links above to find out everything you need to know about Denver's permitting processes, requirements, fees and deadlines for holding a public event on public property. The information can also be found in OSE's Special Event Planning Guide which you can download by clicking the button below.

Download the Special Event Planning Guide

(Guía de planificación de actividades especiales)

Begin your event planning process by clicking on Step 2 above or the button below to see if you must submit an OSEP application.

Does Your Event Require an OSEP?

If you've reviewed the information above and your event requires an OSEP, click the button below to begin your OSEP application.

Submit an OSEP Application

Private 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 OSEP application. If you're planning a private event or your event will be held on private property, we encourage you to review the Private Event Checklist by clicking the button below for information about Denver requirements that may apply.

Review the Private Event Checklist

(Lista de verificación de eventos especiales para eventos privados)

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

Learn more about OSE by reviewing this City and County of Denver Ordinance and these Rules and Regulations(PDF, 395KB).

2. Does Your Event Require an OSEP?

An Office of Special Events Permit (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 meets two or more of the above criteria, you are required to submit an application and secure an OSEP. OSEP applications must be "ready for review" at least 60 days prior to the first day of your event. See what information is required for an application to be "ready for review" in Step 3.

Successful completion of all application requirements applicable to your event will result in the issuance of an OSEP.

Start an OSEP Application

OSEP Application Process and Deadlines

SuperBowlCrowd.jpg1. 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 Permit (OSEP) application. The OSEP online application must be submitted and "ready for review" 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:

  • Applicant information (Section 1 of the OSEP application)
  • Event information (Section 2 of the OSEP application)
  • Dates and attendance (Section 2b of the OSEP application)
  • Draft site plan or route map (Section 4 of the OSEP application)
  • Draft community notification flyer (Section 5 of the OSEP application)
  • Premise documents
  • Preliminary Park Permit for events in parks
  • Traffic Control Plan for events in right-of-way

2. OSE staff 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, various City requirements that apply to your specific event will be identified. Some of those requirements can be fulfilled by uploading documents in OSE’s online application system.  Others will require you to apply with other City Departments directly.  In those cases, the OSE application will provide you the link that the particular Departments website.

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

5.  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 that the event may move forward.

Application Deadlines

  • 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.

3. Event Requirements and Timeline Guide

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 Permit (OSEP) 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

4. 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.