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Event Permits

If your event will be located on public property in any way (public parking, streets, or parks) and is intended for general public attendance, OR the event will include a tent or inflatable that exceed 400 sq ft, fireworks, bonfires, or carnival rides, then you need a permit. If you're unsure whether your event needs a permit, complete the application and we will let you know. 

Please complete the form no less than 60 days in advance of your event's setup day. 

Santa & Mrs. Claus wave to parade attendees at night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit?

If your event will be located on public property in any way (public parking, streets, or parks) and is intended for general public attendance, OR the event will include a tent or inflatable that exceed 400 sq ft, fireworks, bonfires, or carnival rides, then you need a permit! If you are just reserving public space for a family / friends only event like a birthday party or family reunion, a special event permit is not required, unless you will have inflatables, rides, etc. on the public property. When in doubt, complete the form and we will get back to you within 3 business days to let you know if your event does not require a permit. 

What do I need to apply for a special event permit?

We recommend reading over the application before beginning to fill it out, to make sure you have everything you need. Based on the items you select in the Event Setup and Facilities sections of the application, more fields will populate so we can get the details we need for your event to make sure it's a success. 

In addition to basic information about yourself / your organization as the event organizer, you will also need a basic map of the event setup with requested street closures clearly marked, event start/end times as well as set up & tear down date/times, and other event detail. 

The application will ask if you require Emergency Support (Police, Fire, and/or EMS). If you select one of these services, you'll need to provide a description of what is needed and why. Finally, you will have to provide a digital signature affirming the completeness of your application, as well as confirming that you understand you will have to provide proof of liability insurance before your approved event permit will be issued. If you do not already have liability insurance for your event, here is a resource to help you find coverage

I want to have my event in a park or public building. What do I do?

Whether your event is private or public, to have an event in a public park or one of our community event centers in the City of Shawnee, OK, you will need to reserve it with the Parks & Recreation Department; contact them at (405) 878-1528 or  You can also reserve space online here! If your event requires a special event permit and you note that the event is taking place on public property, the application will prompt you to complete this step.

How do I get streets closed for my event?

The event permit application includes a section for road closure requests. You do not need to make any additional requests, as this application's information is sent over to that department for approval.


IMPORTANT NOTE: All street closure requests are subject to amendment by the Engineering Department to ensure the safety of all residents and guests. Amendments to requests will be submitted to you (the event organizer) via email and an attached map detailing the approved, amended closures. 

Street closure notifications are required for any business or residence that is in the area of your closure.  This should include those that are in the vicinity as well as those directly effected by your closure.  A sample street closure notification form can be found here.  These are due at least 30 days prior to your event.

Does my event permit cover the vendors that will be there?

 A special event permit does not negate the need for the individual vendors whom will be serving at that event to have their mandated registrations. Food trucks must still display their Department of Health certificate, vendors must have their annual City of Shawnee registration on hand, and carnival rides must also have their Fire Marshal & Department of Labor registrations up to date in order to operate at an event. 

In other words, each vendor at an event is responsible for their own registration; however, it is in the best interest of the event organizer to communicate this clearly to the vendors on whom your event may rely on for success. 

What if I don't get a permit for my event?

Any events on public property taking place without an approved permit OR on private property with features that are a potential threat to public safety (carnival rides, bonfires, etc.) are subject to be shut down by the Police Department and/or Fire Marshal of the City of Shawnee. Vendors within a permitted event are also subject to be shut down immediately if they are found to be operating without proper registration. 

I need equipment for my event. Does the city provide this?

The City of Shawnee is unable to provide equipment and setup for privately organized events. Regardless of whether your event is taking place on public or private property, you as the event organizer are responsible for ensuring your event has the stages, bleachers, tables, trash cans, etc. that are needed for your event to succeed. There are many wonderful vendors in Shawnee & OKC that provide event equipment rentals we would be happy to refer you to for these needs. 

Can I serve alcohol at my event?

Both the City of Shawnee and the State of Oklahoma have specific rules and regulations regarding the serving of alcohol. One of your first steps should be to contact the Oklahoma ABLE Commission with your event plan, and determine which type of license you will need, and what the State of Oklahoma will require.  Both the State and the City will ask to review your alcoholic beverage plan as part of the special event permit process.

Permit FAQ

Planning events in Shawnee? 
We can help! 

Visit Shawnee is the City of Shawnee, OK's Department of Tourism. Whether you're planning a conference for 600 or a reception for 25, we can help you find everything you need for a smooth sail event in Shawnee, OK. 

A bright and welcoming storefront with large pink letters reading Visit Shawnee and a blue oval below reading Welcome Center.
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