Special Events FAQ

Special Events FAQ

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How does my production company get a film permit in Tampa?
Whether you're planning to produce a music video, feature film, have a student project to complete, or are simply planning a still photography shoot on city property you will need to obtain a Film Permit from the Tampa Bay Film Commission. For filming/photography in public parks, you will need to contact the Office of Special Events Office (813) 274-7723 to receive permission prior to contacting the Tampa Bay Film Commission.

How do I know if I need a Special Event Permit?
A Special Event Permit is required when an event producer plans a celebration, festival, fair, carnival or similar local special event which is held wholly or partially upon a street, and the participants need variations to the normal or usual traffic regulations or controls.In other words, if your event will require street closures or the use of traffic control for any part of your event, you are required to submit an application for a Special Event Permit.  A Special Event Permit is also required when an event is requested to occur at a City of Tampa park and which is expected to have 200 or more participants.

The Office of Special Events is responsible for coordination of all Special Event Permits within the City of Tampa. All street closures are approved and coordinated through the Office of Special Events.

  • Responsible for all street closures, block parties, parades and other events involving City right-of-way, Parks and city owned property.
  • Obtains the required State Road, CSX Railroad and Coast Guard Bridge permits.
  • Coordinates use of Park facilities for events

Do I need a permit if my activity does fit the criteria above?
A Facility Use Permit may be obtained from the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department and is required:

  • To rent a picnic shelter or gazebo
  • To rent a community center
  • To rent Ragan Community Center or Seminole Garden Center
  • For a proposed activity desiring to reserve use of a recreational facility
  • For any event taking place in a city park with an estimated number of participants and spectators of 50 or more
  • For a proposed activity that include organized athletics or a performance
  • For a proposed activity that includes commercial activity (Please note: Only available to non-profit organization)

How do I begin the process of getting a Special Event Permit?
If your event involves the use of a City Park, you will need to complete the Basic and Additional Application forms and relevant packets within the 60-Day Application Deadline. Please note:  First time events should provide at least six months advance notice to insure adequate planning time.  

If your event involves a street closure (for a block party, parade, run, etc.) you should complete the Basic and Additional Application forms and relevant packets within the 90-Day Application Deadline.  Please note:  First time events should provide at least twelve months advance notice to insure adequate planning time. 

If your event involves a request for City Co-sponsorship (for any aspect of your event) you should complete the Basic and Additional Application forms and relevant packets plus the application for Co-sponsorship form within the 90-Day Application Deadline. 

Where will I find the Application Forms and Packets?  You can refer to the page, Forms and Documents. Please thoroughly read all applicable instructions, answer all the questions, and submit all the documents required for us to process the application.  Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted and will delay processing.

Can I promote my event before I get a permit?
Please do not publicize your event if you've only filed an application form.  Filing an application does not guarantee approval of your event. The application(s) and map(s) must be approved - prior to your promoting the event through distributing flyers, notifying the press, contacting the media, or promoting your event by word-of-mouth.

How do I decide which Park will be best for my Special Event?
Parks that have shelters which can be rented are considered "Special Event Parks."  These parks include: Al Lopez Park, Ballast Point Park, Copeland Park, Lowry Park, Macfarlane Park, Picnic Island Park, and Rowlett Park.  Although each of these parks have shelters you can rent, you need to determine if the park you select has enough parking to accommodate your anticipated attendance.

If you're having a small-scale neighborhood event or a private function (like a small wedding), you may opt to use one of our smaller neighborhood parks, or ones that have gazebos.

Where can I get a Application Packet?
We have provided a brief description and link to each application on our Forms and Documents page. 

I want to have a moon bounce at the park in conjunction with my picnic shelter rental. What do I have to do?
Moon bounces are limited to one per shelter rental and may not exceed the following dimensions (20' length, 20' width, 17' height). Moon bounces companies must have a current certificate insurance on file, naming the City as an additional insured. Moon Bounce Insurance Information

Do you have any other locations where I can hold a wedding or wedding reception?
Yes, you may opt to rent the Ragan Community Centeror the Seminole Garden Center. If you can't find a suitable date at either location, you can take a look at our other Community Centers.  Ragan and Seminole are the only facilities rented through the Office of Special Events.  The other Community Centers are rented by the on-site staff at these facilities.

How do I rent a picnic shelter?
The following parks have shelters you can rent for a family picnic or office get together. These parks include:
Al Lopez Park
Ballast Point Park
Copeland Park
Cypress Point Park
Fred Ball Park Gazebo
Lowry Park
Macfarlane Park
Picnic Island Park Beach
Rowlett Park
Sulphur Springs Park

Take a look at the park, find a shelter that will fit your group size, and call the Reservation Office at 274-8184 to check availability.

If you can't find a facility here, you can also link to Hillsborough County  Facility Rental

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