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When and How to get a Park Permit

Many community organizations host annual events throughout the year and I know that arranging a Parks and Recreation permit can seem a daunting task. Here is a simple guide to get you through the process. Most common, Registered Neighborhood Organizations plan events such as public festivals, concerts, and other community events that bring the community together. These events are free and open to everyone.

If your RNO has a recurring event it can gain priority status. For an event to count as priority it must have been held in the same park on the same date, weekend, or holiday for two-three consecutive years depending on when it was established. If you hosted your event in 2016 and 2017 it will be considered a Priority Event for 2018. If you held your first-annual event last year, or are planning on starting a recurring event this year, it must be held for three consecutive years to gain priority status. Once your event gains priority status, Parks and Recreation will reach out to the event coordinator on file in the fall preceding the event to allow you to schedule for the upcoming year. Note that P&R will send the notification only to the email of the person who scheduled the last event.

Non-profits, including many RNOs, are eligible to have fees reduced or eliminated. Consult the 2018 Park Permit Fees guide to see permitting fees.

Applications for new public events in Denver parks must be submitted no later than 60 days prior to the event. Click here to download and complete the Park Permit application. Email your completed application to or submit  in-person to the Parks Permit Office located at 201 West Colfax Avenue in Room 1.G.1, Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. Please allow 24 hours for the Parks Permit Office to confirm receipt of your application. Within 7 business days of receiving your application you will be sent a preliminary permit which serves as an invoice and includes a list of permit requirements. This can include insurance, food truck requirements, restrooms, liquor permits, and other requirements.

Two payment dates will be noted on your preliminary permit. The first payment is a deposit of $500 or 50% of total permit fees, whichever is less. This deposit is due 3 business days hours after you receive the preliminary permit. Failure to pay the deposit will result in cancelation of your preliminary permit. The final payment is the remaining balance and is due 21 calendar days prior to your event, along with other permit requirements.

Organizations who hire third-party event managers for their public events can designate them as the permit contact, or Event Management Representative. The Event Management Representative can also be an employee, board member, or authorized individual with an official letter from the organization signed and approved by an employee or board member. Please provide the authorization letter with application submission. This individual will be the only person receiving communications from the Parks Permit Office until the organization provides a letter stating a change in the representative.

There are several other types of events that you need a permit for. There are special private, invitation-only events such as weddings or corporate events. There are private outdoor fee-based events such as clinics, classes, camps, or guided activities. Family, corporate, or private picnics require a permit. Public assemblies also require a permit. Finally, there are public events such as festivals, concerts, runs, walks, and other admission-based events that require permits.

Click here to access Parks and Recreation’s special occasion event webpage. Click on the “2018 Special Occasions” tab for additional information.

A Private Outdoor Fee-Based Activity (POFA), defined as a class, clinic, camp, guided activity, program, or related service, is an event where the permit holder accepts a payment, fee, or other consideration. POFAs can be either invitation-only or open to the public in general. POFAs must be generally recreational in nature or a common and customary park use. Click here for more info.

Click here to access Parks and Recreation’s webpage for Picnics and see information on seasonal schedules, online and in-person, picnic site reservations, and how to apply.

If you are planning a public assembly to exercise your First Amendment rights, click here to access Parks and Recreation’s 2018 Public Assemblies webpage. Navigate to the “2018 Public Assemblies” tab for additional information.

For questions, contact the Parks Permit Office at 720.913.0700 or