Special Events

Special Events Permit Process

The City of Vancouver is proud to host a variety of community and neighborhood events, festivals and races on an annual basis.  To promote the success of special events, ensure the safety of event participants and spectators, and minimize public inconvenience caused by the event, a Special Event Permit is required for events that exceed 100 participants.

The Vancouver Special Events Office processes applications for review by the Special Events Committee and the City’s Special Event Manager serves as your primary contact with the Vancouver Special Events Committee.

Within this site are guidelines and requirements, event calendars, and contact information.

There is a processing fee of $75.

Will I need a permit?

If your event has any of the following activities you will most likely need a special event permit.

  • Even though an event is on private property, if some aspects of it spill onto the public space? (i.e. sidewalks, roads, city property or property owned by someone other than you)
  • Your event has over 100 participants and is on public land.
  • If there is a remote chance that the safety of the participants and/or the residents of the City of Vancouver may be affected if certain aspects of your event are not properly constructed, installed, or handled (i.e. food, electrical wiring, tents, stages, generators)
  • If your event requires any City of Vancouver services? ( i.e. parking, closing of streets, etc.)
  • If you will be erecting a stage, tent (10 x 10 or larger), bleachers, or booths?
  • If you will be selling/serving Alcohol on public property?

Permit Application

Special Events with 100 or more participants require a permit issued by the City. Additional documents which may also be required:

  • Certificate of Insurance: If using city streets, curb or parking lane, sidewalks, rights-of-way, or city facilities or property
  • Traffic Control Plan
  • WDOT Highway Approval: Using, closing, or restricting Hwy 14, I-5, I-205 or any State Highway.
  • Site Use Permission: Event is held on site not owned by applicant.
  • Park/Shelter Reservation Form: Event is to be held at City Park.
  • National Park Service - Permit for use of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
  • Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) Permit: If alcohol use is planned for your Special Event, submit WSLCB Special Occasion License with your application.
  • Food Handlers Permit from Clark County Public Health: For any food service establishment in the street, public right-of-way, and City facility.

Application Process

  1. Obtain a Special Event Permit Application
  2. Contact other agencies from which you may need to obtain a specific permit.
  3. Submit your completed Special Event Permit Application at least 60 days in advance.
  4. Pay the $75 permit application fee. Checks may be made out to “City of Vancouver” and may be mailed along with application, or paid by cash, check or charge at City Hall, located at 415 W. 6th St. Vancouver, WA 98660. Or you can make a payment over the phone by calling 360-487-8454.
  5. Attend an Events Team meeting if applicable – this meeting will be scheduled by appointment only upon acceptance of a completed permit application. These meetings usually take place Thursday mornings and last 30 minutes.
  6. Adjust your event according to the recommendations from City Staff at the Events Team meeting.
  7. Sign Letter of Agreement for your event.
  8. Schedule any on-site inspections needed for your event.

Expressive Activities

A Special Event Permit is NOT required for expressive activities, the purpose of which is to exercise the right of free speech; HOWEVER, the City asks that organizers of such activities notify the City of their plans so that the City can adequately prepare for any public heath and safety concerns, as well as attempt to prevent conflicts of use of public spaces associated with the activity.

No Smoking/Tobacco in city parks.

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