Special Events Permit and Park Rental Information

In April 2018, the Ellensburg City Council adopted a new special event permit ordinance, designed to be more efficient, consistent, and comprehensive.  The permit regulates events on the public rights-of–way, public property, or events on private property that require additional governmental services such as traffic, police, fire, etc.  The special event permit fee is set at a low cost of $25.00 in an attempt ensure non-profit organizations can afford the fee.  

When do we need a Special Events Permit?

Not all events in Ellensburg require a permit. Your event may require a noise waiver or a street closure, which is frequently the case. The criteria to trigger a special event permit is that it is conducted on public property, or on a public right of way, or is held on private property that has a direct significant impact on traffic congestion or traffic flow to and from the event over public streets or right-of-way, or substantially impacts public streets or right-of-way near the event, or significantly impacts the need for emergency services such as police, fire or medical aid, or is in the city’s Central Commercial Zone, and involves the sales of tickets for attendance or is open to the general public with attendance expected to exceed more than 100 people.

What is expressive speech activity?

Events that are expressive in nature, such as marches, rallies or gatherings, are not subject to the fee. However, the event planner must complete and submit the Special Events Application no later than 7 days prior to the scheduled activity.

What is the Special Event Application Process 

  • Submit an application 60 days in advance of the event 
  • Prepare and submit with your application an event layout maps(s) and a detailed schematic/layout of alcohol/garden areas (note: fire personnel will review your drawings and determine if an additional permit is warranted)
  • Secure insurance as indicated in the application, and submit proof of insurance with your application
  • Pay a $25 application fee along with the application

Depending on the type of special event you have planned, there may be additional requirements to fulfill

  • If applicable, submit a noise waiver form and/or street closure application
  • If you require reserved parking spaces, contact the Public Works and Utilities Department at (509) 962-7230 to request a barrier placed in a parking space
  • If you will serve food/beverages, contact Kittitas County Public Health (509) 962-7515

The special events permit application contains all of the information listed above.

Permit applications are available on the City website. To get answers to questions please contact Brad Case, Parks & Recreation Director, at 509-925-8639, or via email at caseb@ci.ellensburg.wa.us.


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