Events In Madison Parks

Posted Thursday, Mar. 26, 2020 at 4:35 pm

COVID-19: Under order of Governor Tony Evers and Public Health Madison & Dane County, effective immediately through 8:00am, Friday, April 24, 2020 or until a superseding order is issued. and until further notice, all public and private gatherings of any number are prohibited in the State of Wisconsin as part of the Safer at Home Emergency Order. This order supersedes and invalidates any prior approved street use permits through Friday, April 24 or until a superseding order is issued.

Park Event Permits

The primary mission of Madison Parks is to provide residents and visitors with open space and facilities for recreation and relaxation. Under regulated circumstances, a park event permit can be used to reserve park space for a special event. The following park event application process is intended to help with the success of your event and insure the safety and general welfare of the public and event participants.

What makes a park use request a special event?

You must complete an application for a park event permit if any of the following items apply:

  • A large number of participants are expected.
  • The event will be promoted to the general public.
  • Admission will be charged.
  • A park not normally used for events, such as a neighborhood park or beach, has been requested.
  • Vending will occur.
  • The purpose of the event is to raise money, whether for a non-profit/charity or as a commercial venture.
  • The event will use extensive space in a park.

If you are not sure whether your event qualifies as a special event please email.


Prior to completing the Park Event Application, read the Park Event Instructions and review the Sample Permit. This document contains detailed information about the Park Event Application and is a good reference if you have any questions when completing the application. Complete and submit the Park Event Application to begin the process of reserving park space for your special event.


Please note the following timelines required for applications to be considered for approval:

  • New Park Events - At least six months (180 days). Approval by the Board of Park Commissioners may be required.
  • Returning Park Events with Significant Changes - At least six months (180 days). Approval by the Board of Park Commissioners may be required. Examples of changes that may require Board approval include but are not limited to:
    • Expansion of venue
    • Gated admission
    • Selling beer
    • Additional stages
    • Significantly increased attendance
    • Amplification
  • Returning Park Events with No Significant Changes - At least two months (60 days) prior to the event.

Neighborhood Associations

If you are a Neighborhood Association planning an event in a park, visit Neighborhood Association Park Events.