Special Event Permit

A Special Event is a program or activity requiring authorized use of any City-owned property including parks, public streets, parking lots or other public facilities that may or may not require City Services.  Programs exclusively sponsored by the City are exempt from this definition.

Special Events include, but are not limited to, concerts, parades, festivals, certain kinds of athletic events (e.g. running races on public streets), marches, large group picnics, religious ceremonies, block parties, etc.

A Special Events application is required for formal use or rental of City park pavilions, the Performance Shell at the park, the Railroad Depot and the Depot Grounds and other facilities as the City may later designate through the City Manager’s Office or by City Commission formal action.

Any use of public facilities or property for a Special Event of any kind shall be in compliance with the Special Events Use Agreement issued by the city as well as all laws, rules, regulations and ordinances established by the City, Clinton County and the State of Michigan.

All requests to hold a Special Event as defined in this section shall be through the established application process, with the submission of an application to hold a Special Event through the City Manager’s Office or his/her designee.

All special event applications must be filled out completely and signed by an individual authorized to act for the group or entity hosting the Special Event.  The person signing the application will be considered the official event representative.  All requests to the City related to the event must be authorized and communicated by the official event sponsor or representative.  Incomplete or unsigned applications will not be processed for approval.  Any request for additional City Services must be specified with as much detail as possible on the application.

The event representative will be responsible for all costs related to the Special Event, including:  application fees, rental charges, required insurance and any reimbursable costs for services provided by the City.  The City in its sole discretion may require a cash deposit in advance of approval of the event to cover anticipated fees and costs.  Application fees for Special Events and facility rentals are set by the City Commission through annual ratification of the City fee and rate schedule.

If fireworks are to be utilized during the event, approval of the Chief of Police or Fire Marshal must be obtained in advance of the event.

If sound amplification will be used in conjunction with a Special Event, the sponsor and attendees must comply with the noise level and hour restrictions found in the City of St. Johns Noise Control Ordinance, City Code Section 93.20 et seq.

The City may require sponsors of Special Events to carry liability insurance.  This requirement will be reviewed and determined by the City Manager or his/her designee, and will depend on various factors, to include but not limited to the size of the event, the character of the event, whether alcohol or fireworks will be part of the event, and other considerations deemed relevant. 

If it is determined that insurance is required, an amount of coverage will be determined by the City Manager.  An event sponsor will be required to obtain said liability insurance at least 7 days in advance of the event and shall further be required to provide the City Manager’s Office and the City Attorney a valid certificate of insurance in the designated amount naming the City of St. Johns as an additional insured.  Failure to provide this proof of insurance will result in cancellation of the event.

The City Manager is also authorized to require a security deposit to cover potential costs and/or damages if such deposit is deemed appropriate in his/her sole discretion.

The City strictly limits the sale and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in conjunction with Special Events. Only non-profit organizations, community service organizations or the City as a co-sponsor of a Special Event will be permitted to sell and/or use alcohol in conjunction with an event.  Family gatherings, reunions, private parties, graduation open houses and like events may not apply under this section.  In any case where alcohol will be sold at a Special Event, any required state liquor license must be obtained in advance of the event and proof of same provided to the City upon request.

Any qualified sponsor of an event that includes a request for the sale or consumption of alcohol must submit a separate Special Events Application to Sell/Consume Alcohol.  This application will be reviewed by the City Manager and the Chief of Police.  The City has complete discretion with respect to granting or denying such an application.  If an application under this section is approved, the liability insurance requirements under section 97.05 are mandatory and cannot be waived.

The City Manager and/or Chief of Police may place additional requirements on any Special Event for good cause shown.  These requirements may include specific staffing related to number of police officers, fire department personnel, paramedics, municipal services or other personnel.  Additionally, the City may require for certain Special Events trash dumpsters, trash barrels, portable toilets, fencing, security personnel and/or other facilities or services.  Expenses for these additional requirements will be the responsibility of or billed to the sponsoring person or organization unless specifically waived by the City.

Additionally, depending on the Special Event in question and based further on any specific occurrences with past Special Events of a similar nature held on prior occasions, the City Manager or his/her designee may impose special conditions for any particular event.  Failure to meet these special conditions could result in the cancellation or stopping of an event.  Special conditions will be imposed only if it is deemed they are necessary to maintain the public health, safety or welfare of the community.

If two or more competing Special Event applications are received for the same date and time prior to approval of either application, the City Administration shall attempt to resolve conflicts with the sponsors of each application.  If no resolution can be reached in this manner, the date and time the City received the application with requisite paid fees shall determine the order of preference.

If a Special Event is intended to be an annual event at a regularly scheduled time or date, the current year’s applicant may also request reservation of a date for the following year’s event.  Approval of the application will include tentative reservation of the following year’s requested date.  This will not, however, constitute approval of the next year’s event until a timely application is submitted for City approval.  In general, the City will not approve Special Events more than one year in advance.

Special Event Application & Agreement - See calendar on homepage for availability