Any organized event at a Portland Parks & Recreation site/facility that is not a picnic, wedding, gymnasium activity, or ballfield activity will require a Parks Special Use Permit.
What is a Special Use Permit?
Any permit to use a park facility that is not a picnic, wedding, gym, or ballfield permit is a Special Use permit.
When is a permit required by city code?
The use is for an organized entertainment/event, demonstration, or public gathering as defined in Chapter 20.08.010 of the City Code.
A picnic, ballfield, or wedding requires a Special Use permit when:
- The site requested has not been designated as a picnic site or ballfield by Portland Parks & Recreation and is not shown in the picnic brochure. (See “How to Reserve a Picnic” brochure).
- Admission is controlled by donations, entry fees, or tickets.
- Alcohol is served or sold.
- Sales of any kind will be made.
- Tents, canopies, or stages are brought in.
- The event is advertised to the public.
- The event is organized by a caterer or promoter.
- Electricity is used, other than that which is included as part of a picnic permit.
- The intended use of the field is for any purpose other than the designated sport or sports for which the field is maintained and prepared.
A single event is defined as:
- A single activity held on a single date in one location.
- A series of activities, advertised as one event, held on successive days in one location.
- A single activity held on the same day of the week for successive weeks in one location.
- A single activity, advertised as one event, held on the same day in more than one location when all sites are applied for as part of the initial application.
How to apply for a Special Use – Public Event Permit
To secure a Special Use Permit, the application and an application fee must be submitted to the Portland Parks & Recreation Customer Service Center. Application may be made in person at:
Customer Service Center
1120 SW 5th Avenue, First Floor, Portland, Oregon 97204
Monday- Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm
Applications may also be submitted by calling 503-823-2525, from 8:30am to 5:00pm.
Public Events Coordinator, 503-865-2375
Public Events Assistant, 503-865-2376
Application Processing Fees and Rates
To obtain the most up-to-date rates and fees please contact the Customer Service Center at 503-823-2525.
Application processing fees are required to process and issue a Special Use Permit. To begin processing a Special Use Permit, the application must include the appropriate processing fee.
|Notification Time||Rate 1 A-J||Rate 2||Rate 3||Rate 4||Rate 5|
|More than 45 days notification||$150||$240||$390||$390||$390|
|45 days or less notification||$300||$480||$780||$780||$780|
|15 days of less notification||$600||$960||$1,560||$1,560||$1,560|
Explanation of Rates
|Rate 1||No sales, admission fees, concessions, entry fees, pledges or donations of any kind.|
Runs/walks where no donations are solicited and no entry fee is charged to participate.
|Rate 2||Closed to the public, with or without a fee (i.e., catered private parties, private fundraisers, conventions, etc.)|
|Rate 3||Commercial: the purpose of the event is to distribute information and/or introduce a product that may result in present or future donations or sales. |
Sales: Events where concessions, and/or sales are part of the event.
Runs, walks, contests where entry fees are charged in order to participate and the end event is combined with a festival type event (beer gardens, band, or similar activity).
|Rate 4||Runs/Walks/Contests where entry fees are charged in order to participate and race memorabilia may be sold on site. Race memorabilia is limited to t-shirts/sweatshirts or other race-related items which have a per item cost of $25.00 or less.|
|Rate 5||Limited access/entrance fees: These are events that totally fence the area and charge an admission fee.|
|Note: If an event falls into more than one rate category, the higher fee will apply.|
All policies found in the Special Event/Special Use Permit Manual apply in addition to those which are unique to major parks.
Minor parks will only be considered for a special use permit, if in the opinion of Portland Parks and Recreation, the event requesting the site will not adversely impact either the park or the surrounding neighborhood. If approved, only one special use permit will be allowed per date.
Rental Fees and Rates
|Rate 1 - Rental Fees based on attendance|
|Rate 2 Special use for Private Events|
A permitted activity in a park where only specific guests or attendees are allowed to access the event area.
|General||Closed to the public, with or without a fee (i.e., catered private parties, private fundraisers, conventions, etc. Does not include downtown destination parks. See Downtown Destination Parks.)||$1,341.50|
|Closure||Closure of a park (or their fountains including shut off) during the event season (Memorial Day – September 30) is automatically charged at three times the current rate. See definitions.||$4,020.75|
|Ankeny Pavilion, Bill Naito Legacy Fountain and Plaza, Jamison Square, Ira Keller Fountain, The Fields, Lovejoy Fountain, and Waterfront Park) Closed to the public, with or without a fee (i.e., catered private parties, private fundraisers, conventions, etc.)||$2,629.25|
Fountain shut off
|Closure of a park (or their fountains including shut off) during the event season (Memorial Day through Sept 30) is automatically charged at three times the current rate. See definitions.||$7,889.25|
|Rental Fees - Special use for Public Events|
|LOCATION||RATE 1||RATE 3||RATE 4||RATE 5|
|Major Parks - except ones listed below||Based on attendance. See Rate 1 table.||$2,772.25||$357.50 + $0.70 for each walk/run/cycle participant||3x Rate 3 - $8,316.75|
|Minor Parks||Based on attendance. See Rate 1 table.||$1,386.25||$357.50 + $0.70 for each walk/run/cycle participant||Not Allowed|
|Mt. Tabor Amphitheater||$634||$2,772.25||$634 or $357.50 + $0.70 for each walk/run/cycle participant, whichever is higher||3x Rate 3 - $8,316.75|
|Cathedral Park Amphitheater||$673.50||$2,772.25||$673.50 or $357.50 + $0.70 for each walk/run/cycle participant, whichever is higher||3x Rate 3 - $8,316.75|
|Washington Park Amphitheater||$1,968.50||$2,772.25||$1,968.50 or $357.50 + $0.70 for each walk/run/cycle participant, whichever is higher||3x Rate 3 - $8,316.75|
|WFP A - North of Burnside Bridge||Based on attendance.||Not Allowed||Not Allowed||Not Allowed|
|WFP B - Mast to Burnside Bridge||Based on attendance.||$2,772.25 per section||$357.50 + $0.70 for each walk/run/cycle participant||3x Rate 3 - $8,316.75 (WFP G Not Allowed)|
|WFP C - Morrison Bridge to Mast|
|WFP D - Fountain to Morrison Bridge|
|WFP E - River place to Hawthorne Bridge|
|WFP E1 - Hawthorne Bridge to McCall|
Bridge Area Event Days - $550
- Parking under the Burnside (limited use due to Saturday Market), Hawthorne, and Morrison Bridges in Waterfront Park.
Rate 5 - $8,316.75
- Daily rental fee for public events with limited access or entrance fees (per section at WFP).
Load-in and Load-out Day fees
- Load-in and load-out days for rates 2, 3, 4, and 5: $500
- Rate 1 load-in and load-out days are equal to the daily rental rates.
- In some cases, Rate 2 Load in/out fee is equal to daily event rental.
- $93.25 per section of WFP (fee subject to change.)
- $200 general flagging all other parks
- $55 per day per section plus $100.00 refundable deposit per potable water connector.
- All connectors must be obtained and returned to either Vendor of Record or [limited to 1 connector] on site from PP&R staff.
- No connectors will be issued or received in the Customer Service Center.
- $33.25 (110v/20amp only) per day per section.
- In Waterfront Park: $67.25 for the 1st vehicle, per day, plus $20.75 each additional vehicle, per day. Renovation fees apply.
- In all other parks: $67.25 for the 1st vehicle, per day, plus $31 each additional vehicle, per day.
- Downtown Destination Parks - Ankeny Pavilion, Bill Naito Legacy Fountain and Plaza, Jamison Square, Ira Keller Fountain, Lovejoy Fountain, The Fields, and Waterfront Park.
- Event Season - Memorial Day through September 30.
- Closure of a Park - Closure of all or the majority of any park and or its amenities for the sole use of an event is automatically charged at three times the current rate. Closure status may be determined by placement of fencing to restrict access, high attendance, placement of tent/s stages or equipment and or activities that are limited to event guests only and that significantly hinder the public’s use of the park.
- Majority - A “majority” of a park is determined when either the physical acreage used is more than half of the usable acreage or half of any park’s individual reservable “section” (e.g. Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park), or the area to be permitted includes all or the majority of the park’s primary features (picnic areas, athletic fields, etc.).