Special Events FAQ

Events that are open to the general public and take place within the public right-of-way or are located within a park would be coordinated through the special event permit process. Typically, these events require permits, licenses and approvals from several City departments depending on the size and nature of the special event.

To initiate the special event permitting process, please complete the “HSR Special Event Inquiry Sheet” available online at www.cityofpasadena.net/human-services. Email the completed inquiry sheet to hsrevents@cityofpasadena.net . Please note that the acceptance of your application should in no way be construed as final approval of your event. The City of Pasadena requires that event application be submitted at least 6 months in advance of the proposed event date. Events with major impacts must be submitted 9 months in advance.

Once your Inquiry Sheet has been received by the HSR Special Events Office you will be contacted to discuss your event proposal. Copies of the application will be distributed to all city departments impacted by your event. A coordinating meeting may be held to clarify questions and ensure that you are meeting all of the requirements of the special event permitting process. During the coordinating meeting you will be notified if your event requires any additional information, permits, licenses or certificates.

A special event permit is not required for events that take place on private property. Depending on the nature of the event, various permits may be required including the following:

  • If you will have food sales please contact the Health Department for a Health Permit at (626) 744-6064.
  • If the food vendor is using open flame or cooking equipment, please contact the Fire Department for an Open Flame Permit at (626) 744-4668.
  • If you will have tents a Tent Permit is required from the Permit Center at (626) 744-6777.
  • If you are using amplified sound you must adhere to the City’s noise ordinance regarding hours of amplified sound and sound decibel limitations.
  • Please contact the Police Department’s Event Planning Section at (626) 744-4623 if you would like to hire Police Officers for your event.
  • You may also contact the Watch Commander at (626) 744-4501 the morning of your event to notify them that the activity is taking place.

Please contact the Public Works Department for date availability, reservations, and applications for City Hall events. Public Works can be reached at (626) 744-4195.

Personal wedding photography does not require a commercial film permit, however professional photographers are required to have a business license. For further information, please contact Business License at 626-744-4166.

Vendors interested in vending during the Rose Parade must apply for a New Year’s Vendor Permit which can be obtained from the Business License Office at (626) 744-4166.

Neighborhood block parties require a Public Right-of-Way Permit Application from the Public Works Department 744-4195. If the block party is being advertised and is open to the public, you will require a special events permit and should submit a HSR Special Events Inquiry Sheet.

Yes. General liability is required to hold event on City property. All vendors who participate in the event are also required to provide insurance and obtain a business license. Requirements can be found at Special Events Insurance Requirements.