Events In Madison Parks

Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm

On January 11, 2021 Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) issued Emergency Order #12, which is in effect on January 13, 2021 and lasts for 28 days. Under PHMDC order #12, outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 or fewer people abiding by physical distancing requirements.

If an event meets the criteria to occur under this order or any future orders, organizers must submit detailed plans that show how they will meet PHMDC requirements for physical distancing and cleaning policies, and a plan for monitoring attendance at the event. Please contact us at for additional information.

If this order or any future PHMDC order restricting or prohibiting the size or nature of outdoor events are in place on the date(s) of an event, they supersede and may invalidate any approved street use or park event permits.

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 & Community Group Park Events

If you are a Neighborhood or Community Group planning an event in a park, visit Neighborhood & Community Group Park Events.