City of

Community Events In Madison Parks
Park Event Permit Application Process
  1. Complete the Application

    IF APPLICABLE include the following with the completed application:

Complete Event Schedule

  • The schedule begins when event set-up starts and ends when cleanup of the event area is complete, all equipment is removed and the park is available for regular use.
  • The schedule should encompass all activities planned for the event, such as:
    • Run/Walk/Parade, etc.
    • Vending – Food, Beverages and/or Merchandise
    • Music/Performances
    • Displays, Exhibits, Demonstrations

Site Map of the Event

To ensure proper review of the event please attach a site and route plan (if applicable). To assist with site plans, park maps are available at City of Madison Parks.
  • Site plans should include, but are not limited to, the following: location of tents, stages, fencing, vendors, portable toilets, beer gardens, dumpsters, placement of vehicles, exit location for outdoor events that are fenced, clear signage, accessible paths for wheelchairs as well as ample disabled parking, and any other related event components not listed above.
  • The site plan should also include areas within the requested park that will be used for the event including parking lots, shelters, ball diamonds, soccer fields, ped/bike paths, tennis courts, volleyball courts and any other specific park features that are included in the plans for the event.
  • A detailed route map should also be provided if the event includes a run, walk, parade or other moving activity.
  • If the event includes a run/walk component, the approval of the Parks Division for the use of the park does not imply approval of the proposed route. Routes need to be approved with a Parade Permit

Safety and Security Plans

  • The Safety Plan should include first aid and emergency response procedures, emergency contact information, designated “lost child” area, plan to communicate information to staff and volunteers
  • The Security Plan should include, but is not limited to, the hiring of private security companies and licensed professional emergency medical services; plans for crowd control; alcohol containment; securing valuables and protecting event participants
  • City of Madison Police and Fire Department representatives may make additional recommendations after review of the Safety and Security Plans.

Clean Up and Recycling Plan

  • Each organization is responsible for clean up of the event area. In accordance with Park Commission policies, a clean up deposit of $3000 may be required.
  • Include plans for collection and disposal of materials during and after event - number and location of garbage/recycling containers and dumpsters; number/schedule of volunteers/staff assigned to collection and clean up.
  • If City containers are not used, please provide name of collection agency providing equipment and service for the event.
  • Any group that leaves the area in a condition that requires special clean up by park crews will be charged the full cost of clean up.
  • If you need assistance with your clean up and recycling plan, please contact the City of Madison’s Recycling Office, via email or at (608) 267-2626.

Notification Requirements

  • If your event will have over 300 participants/viewers, the alder for that park location must be notified. If your event will be held at James Madison Park, you must notify both the alderperson AND the neighborhood association. This must be done 45 days before the event.
  • If an event necessitates traffic detours and/or parking restrictions, the plans must be approved and filed with this application. The information must be posted in the park and area residents notified at least two weeks prior to the event. Include the flyer/notice and the notification schedule with the application.

Certificate of Insurance

  • The City’s Risk Manager makes the determination regarding the requirement of insurance for an event or activity.
  • The determination is based on the risk level of an event which is determined by such things as the size and nature of the event, activities planned for the event, the expected attendance, potential for injury, if there is alcohol, and other considerations.
  • If a Certificate of Insurance is required the event organizer will submit a general liability insurance policy certificate in the amount of $1,000,000 naming the City of Madison and its Parks Division as an Additional Insured. Parks vending permits will not be approved without this proof of insurance.
  • The City of Madison Risk Management Office must receive this certificate 30 days prior to the event date. This official certificate may be submitted electronically, mailed or faxed.
    City Risk Manager
    210 MLK JR. Blvd, Rm 406
    Madison, WI 53703
    Phone (608) 266-5965
    Fax (608) 267-8705


All requests for community events within the Madison Parks System must include site plans with provisions for accessibility by persons who are disabled. All individuals will structure activities to ensure that they are barrier-free and offer equal opportunities for access.

When portable toilets are brought into a park for community events with large attendance, the event sponsor must provide an adequate supply of accessible toilets. Accessibility shall also be addressed in your medical, security and parking plans in the community events packets.
  1. Submit to:

    210 MLK JR. BLVD STE 104
    PO BOX 2987
    MADISON, WI 53701-2987
    FAX: (608) 267-1162
    PLEASE REMEMBER that you need a MINIMUM of 45 days advance submission. And most often, the planning of your event and the acquisition of all of the appropriate permits will take much longer than 45 days. A late fee of $100 will be charged for applications received after the deadlines indicated.

  2. Review by Madison Parks

    The Park Event Permit Application and materials are reviewed by the Park Use Staff Team and/or the Park Commission. Event Organizers may be required to attend the meeting when the application is reviewed. Community Event Staff will contact you if your attendance is required.

  3. Approval and Issuance

    IF/WHEN the application is approved a Park Event Permit will be issued to the Event Organizer. The permit will list the date, time and location of the event, as well as any conditions for the event.


Phone (608) 266-6033 or email Madison Events

Helpful Resources

More Parks & Facilities Available for Reservation

PARK HOURS are established by the Park Commission and regulated in accordance with Madison General Ordinances. Madison Parks close at 10 p.m. All clean up of the event must be completed by that time. If that is not possible, you must make arrangements to rent the park and/or park shelter for the following day. Requests for extended hours require administrative review and approval. Requests can only be approved by the Superintendent of Parks or the Park Commission and must be submitted no later than 45 days prior to the reservation date.
Contact Us    Email Madison Events | Phone (608) 266-6033 | Go to City of Madison Parks