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Special Event Permit

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Special Event Permit – Guidelines, Tips & Process


  • SMALL/MEDIUM sized event permits must be filed at least 30 days prior to the event
  • LARGE sized events must be filed at least 90 days prior to the event.


Beer or alcohol - if SOLD, a permit must be obtained by contacting the City Clerk’s office (City Hall, 819 1st Avenue South). The process will take up to 30 days and requires council action. Permission to sell keg beer will require approval from the Parks Director. Map of venue will need to be provided with perimeter boundaries designated for the serving area as well as measures used to manage alcohol consumption at the event. If tap beer is sold, then adequate hand-washing stations must be provided.  All draft beer cups are for one-time use and must never be refilled.

Garbage - All garbage must be removed from site by event organizer.

Inflatable Play Attractions - (i.e. bouncy houses or jumping pits/slides) are not allowed on public property.

Insurance - Certificate of Insurance naming the City of Fort Dodge as an additional insured must be provided upon filing ALL permit requests.

Park hours are dawn to 10:30 pm. All events held in public facilities must follow park rules including hours unless approved by Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director.

Parking - Plan on appropriate spaces including provision for handicap parking for all large events.

Payment - invoices will be sent upon conclusion of the event. Payment should be done within 30 business days.

Restrooms - If events are held on public property, appropriate restroom facilities must be provided. If not available on site, a minimum of two (2) portable restrooms per 1000 attendees for non-alcohol events or four (4) per 1000 attendees if alcohol is served is required.

Signs - Advertising your event may not be placed in the public right-of-way without prior authorization.

Smoking areas - Events must adhere to the State of Iowa Smoke-Free

Street closure - All road/street closures are evaluated and approved by the FD Police Department. This decision will be made taking in all aspects and effects of the closure; including event attendees and the public.

Street/pavement markings - No markings (paint) of any kinds are permitted on city streets, sidewalks or alleys.

Tents - Usage of tents is permitted, but size and design of tent may require inspection by the FD Fire Department.

Food Licensing - Those providing food to patrons must inquire about a temporary or annual food license, for more information visit

Block Parties - Those organizing a neighborhood block party will need proper street/road closure equipment and permit approval. Equipment can be rented from the City or provided on one’s own.

Food Trucks - The “Mobile Food Unit Operation Guide” is a great resource on the above website, utilize its FAQ for additional information.


An event site plan (map) for those events over 500 attendees OR route map for any runs/bike rides must be submitted with the application in order to be considered. The following elements that pertain to this event include:

  • An outline of the entire event venue including the names of all streets or areas that are part of the venue and the surrounding area.
  • The location of proposed infrastructure including fencing, barricades, port-a-potties, parking, handicap parking, cooking areas and vendor locations, generator locations and/or electrical source, staging for vehicles and trailers.
  • Location of all tents and temporary event structures.
  • Emergency staging and access. The emergency access also pertains to the minimum 20’ access lane throughout the venue.
  • Route map - route of the event along with all designation of 1st Aid stations, security, parking, registration etc.


  • Any event that uses any type of heating or cooking device will need (at minimum) one 5lb. fire extinguisher available, in a conspicuous location and readily accessible for use at each booth.
  • All propane cylinders will need to be secured or placed in a rack to prevent tipping and inspected by FDFD.
  • Any tents over 400 square feet that are enclosed OR 700 square feet and open will need an inspection.
  • Deep fat fryers - all food vendors operating a deep-fat fryer are required to also have a Class K fire extinguisher that is a minimum size of 1.5 gallons (6 Liters) with a current inspection tag by a certified company.  The extinguisher gauge shall be in the green and inspected within one year of the date of the event by a certified company.
  • Water - All food vendors must have access to an adequate and protected source for potable water.  If hoses are used, they must be NSF approved and appropriate back-flow prevention devices must be in place on all hose bibs.
  • Beer vendors and Licensing - Food service volunteers or employees complaining of illness involving vomiting or diarrhea within the previous 24 hours must be excused from food handling.
  • All electrical cords shall be free of physical damage. They shall be the grounding type and cord ends shall be UL listed and in good working condition.  If cords are in pedestrian traffic all must be secured to prevent tripping hazards.


  • Please provide a site map of the exact location of shoot or display.
  • Provide the Pyrotechnic certification as well as name and number of the responsible shooter.
  • Firework site must be inspected by the FDFD prior to shoot. Those arrangements can be made by calling the Fire Station at (515) 573-2871.

* Denotes a required field
Applications must be complete - incomplete requests will not be reviewed. A venue map must accompany the permit application when applicable. A pre-planning meeting (2 months out minimum) will be required for all events with over 500 in attendance.


Phone Number*
-- ext
Second portion of ZIP Code is optional.

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819 1st S Ave
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
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  • Phone: (515) 576-4551
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