Anchorage Parks and Recreation

Special Event Information


A general rule of thumb to follow is if your event has at least a 100 people in attendance; or intend to have vendors, or a public assembly, then you can pretty much bet that your reservation request does fall under the “Special Event’ category.

Letter of Intent – this form is used

Anchorage Parks & Recreation is proud to host more than 100 public special events annually. This packet is intended to help you better understand the special event permitting process and provide tips that will facilitate your special event planning process. If, along the way, you have any questions or concerns about the information provided in this packet, or if there is just something we can do to assist the successful planning of your event, please let us know. Our special event staff person is here to help.

If you are planning a first-time event, or simply making venue or programmatic changes to an annual event, give us a call before you complete your plans. Anchorage Parks & Recreation staff members have valuable experience with hundreds of events and want to see yours succeed. Whether you are wondering about the availability of a venue, or seeking technical guidance with traffic and safety planning, a preliminary conversation with staff may help you save valuable time and provide you with initial guidance in the development of your special event plan.

Once you have submitted your Special Event Application, a representative from Parks & Recreation will contact you and serve as your primary point of contact for the processing of your permit. This person will review your permit application and notify you if your event requires any additional permits, licenses or needs.

On behalf of Anchorage Parks & Recreation, thank you for contributing to the spirit and vitality of our city through the staging of your event. Best wishes for a successful event.


Things to Consider for Your Special Event



As you begin planning for your event, think carefully about the impacts and benefits the event brings to the community. The following are some common problems that with preliminary planning can help reduce:

Traffic & Parking

If your event requires a traffic plan as determined by Traffic Engineering, remember that a street closure, even for two or three blocks, can affect traffic for miles around the venue due to event-related traffic, and the rerouting of traffic around the closure.

Your traffic plan will require a Certified Traffic Plan submitted with your Right-of-Way Special Event Permit.

Music, Alcohol & Special Needs

Are you planning to serve alcohol at the event? How will the use of alcohol affect the mood, participant safety, and enjoyment of the event, as well as security needs and insurance costs?

What type of music will be featured at the event? How will the noise level impact the surrounding neighborhood? What type of audience and participant numbers may result from the type of music?

Have you made plans to ensure that your event is accessible to the disabled? Disabilities include, but are not limited to, vision, hearing and physical limitations. Do your booths block access ramps? Is disabled parking readily available? Are TDD phones on site? Will portable toilets accommodate wheelchairs?

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Please ensure that your Special Event Park Application has been approved by the Municipality of Anchorage before you promote, market, or advertise your event. Conditional approval will be made after the event organizer submits the application and it is initially screened by staff. Acceptance of your Special Event Application by Parks & Recreation is neither a guarantee of the date or location, nor an automatic approval of your event. The event organizer must complete the application requirements entirely before Parks & Recreation will issue a park permit.

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If your organization is planning to sell or serve beer or wine at an event, you must obtain an approved Alcohol Permit to Serve/Sell Alcoholic Beverages in Public Facilities. This permit authorizes the temporary sale or serving of beer or wine for consumption on park lands. In addition to the permit fee the vendor is charged a “pour” fee. See Event Daily Fees. Commercial enterprises and caterers are subject to different permit requirements as stated on the waiver form.

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If your event includes a beer garden, Alaska Beverage Control regulations spell out the following rules:

  • The serving and seating area must be completely fenced, and all exits and entrances must be staffed during the serving period.
  • Everyone entering the enclosed area must be at least 21 years old.
  • The person at the entrance of the enclosed area checking identification must be 21 years old.
  • Beer and wine cups must be paper or plastic, and be distinguishable from soda cups.
  • Servers may not drink alcoholic beverages while serving.
  • All alcohol must be consumed within the beer garden.
  • Alcohol sales and consumption in city parks must be associated with an approved special event.

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Cities are noisy places to live, and Anchorage is no exception. Road construction, public events, transportation and community gatherings are all necessary or desired events that generate noise. The Anchorage Noise Ordinance, AMC 15.70, regulates noise events and unnecessary or annoying noise sources.

Allowable noise levels are different for different land uses. Residential property has a much lower allowable noise level than an industrial property.

Table 1. Allowable Noise Levels


Affected Property

Time Sound Level dB(A)


7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

10:00 PM – 7:00 AM




7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

10:00 PM – 7:00 AM




At all times



In all cases, noise levels are measured at the property land.

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Certain activities such as public events are eligible for noise permits. A noise permit can allow a temporary increase in allowable noise levels or allow an event to occur at a time that it normally would not be allowed.

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Permit Conditions

A noise permit will state the conditions that the event must comply with in order for the permit to remain valid. Typically these conditions will include a time frame, the allowable sound level, and acts that may invalidate the permit.

Amplified sound associated with public activities generally is allowed from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM unless approved to vary such as 4th of July fireworks.

For further information, please call or visit the Health & Human Services website.

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Applying for a Noise Permit

If you are responsible for an event that is eligible for a permit and will generate noise, you may need a noise permit. If you expect that your event will produce a sound level above allowable levels, you will need a noise permit. If you are unsure whether you need or are eligible for a noise permit, contact the Environmental Services Division by calling (907) 343-4200. Please note that there is a time requirement for filing your noise permit application of not less than 20 days prior to your event.

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The International Fire Code requires an operational permit for certain types of activities. One of those is classified as an “Assembly.” An assembly permit is required if you are using a non-assembly occupancy for assembly purposes, or if your are going to have over 1000 people gathering in a public place, or if you have other special hazards with large groups, such as pyrotechnics, open flames inside buildings, or tents over 200 square feet. Other hazards may trigger the need for an assembly permit. Call (907) 267-4900 for details. You can fill it out and fax it to (907) 267-4958. An inspector will contact you within 10 days to discuss it. Make sure and give us at least two weeks notice before your event.

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Banners and signs can be the most colorful and cost-effective way of promoting your special event. Parks & Recreation issues all permits for the placement of signs and banners on bike trail bridges for public community events.

Banners and signs advertising the event at the park site must be pre-approved with a park permit.

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Neighborhood events, such as block parties, provide neighbors a unique opportunity that can be found nowhere else. At such an event, members of a community are given a chance to gather and create a network of friends rather than mere acquaintances.

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Demonstrations, protests and rallies are allowed with a Special Event Permit on public property but not in the right-of-way. Events are allowed under the following conditions:

  • The protest remains peaceful.
  • Amplified sound is approved by the Health Department.
  • Pedestrian and vehicular traffic is not interrupted.
  • Streets and sidewalks are not blocked.
  • Building entrances remain open.
  • Activities are not impacting the road right-of-way.

If any of the above guidelines are violated, the Anchorage Police Department may ask individuals to leave the premises, or take enforcement actions.

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All film and still Photography Park Permits are managed by Anchorage Parks & Recreation if the shot is held on park property. If filming will impact traffic or park use, a Special Event Park Permit may be required.

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The Anchorage Fire Department may require review and approval of the following items related to your event planning:

  • Use of fireworks or pyrotechnics
  • Handling of vehicle fuel
  • Cooking facilities other than single family barbeque grills
  • Occupancy and spacing of tables or enclosures
  • Use of tents, canopies, or any fabric shelters that will have open flame/cooking in them

The Fire Department may require an inspection, at your cost, before and/or during the event. For more information, please contact the Anchorage Fire Department.

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All pyrotechnic displays are required to be permitted by the Anchorage Fire Department and the State of Alaska. Only a licensed operator may conduct a fireworks display. The following information is required for a Pyrotechnic Permit by the Anchorage Fire Department and approval by Parks & Recreation:

  • A copy of the operator’s license(s)
  • Site plan of shooting area, including fallout zones
  • Show script with a list of products to be used
  • Method of transport, storage and park clean-up plan
  • Proof of public liability and property damage insurance of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000)

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A Health Department Food Vendor Permit may be required to sell and serve food on public property to the public. Food handlers training may also be required to assure safe food handling. For information on Food Vendor Permits, please contact the Health Department.


Generators may be approved for an event when there is a lack of electric service.

Portable generators should be placed in an area where attendees are unlikely to come into contact with them, and be placed at least 10 feet from any combustible materials. Generators shall be located a minimum of 20 feet from tents or canopies.

Refueling: When refueling a portable generator, you must wait until the generator cools, and then refill it from a self-closing safety can.

A portable fire extinguisher, minimum 2A 10B:C size, with a current Fire Marshall tag attached, must be on hand and easily accessible at all times.

For more information, please contact the Anchorage Fire Department.

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All planned helicopter and balloon landings in parks must be pre-approved with a park permit. Emergency landings are exempted.

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General liability insurance coverage in the amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) must be acquired before an event, and maintained throughout the duration of the event, including set up and dismantle periods.

The standard proof of insurance is the ACORD certificate form. Coverage verification provided on an insurance company’s certificate form is also acceptable.

The name of the insured, the insurance carrier, the policy number and coverage limits must be stated on the certificate of insurance, as well as the effective and expiration dates for the coverage.

An endorsement naming “The Municipality of Anchorage” insured must be stated on the certificate of insurance. If alcohol will be served, a liquor liability endorsement is also required.

Insurance certificates and endorsements must be signed by an authorized representative of the insurance carrier. Electronic signatures are acceptable and this information can be placed anywhere on the endorsement that it will fit.

The certificate of insurance must be filed with Parks & Recreation ten (10) working days before the event. The certificate of insurance must include the event name, date and location.

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“Parade” means any march, demonstration, procession or event consisting of persons, animals or vehicles or any combination thereof upon any public street, sidewalk or road right-of-way which does not comply with normal and usual traffic regulation or controls.

A site plan outlining your route must be submitted. If your event will generate additional traffic, or interrupt existing traffic on any street, a traffic control plan outlining necessary street closures is required before a Special Event Park Permit will be issued.

There are three types of street closures:

  • Full street closures
  • Rolling street closures
  • Land closures

A certified traffic plan must be submitted with your Road Right-of-Way Special Events Permit.

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When planning a special event it is important to consider the impact your event will have on parking in the area. In some situations when sufficient parking is not available, the event organizer may be required to provide a shuttle plan.

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The Municipality of Anchorage offers many public parks that can be used as the site for your special event. In addition to being beautiful, a park offers a large, neighborhood-centered venue for your event. If you plan to use a park, you will need to submit a Park Use Application at least 30 days in advance of your event.

Once your Park Use Application has been received, staff will contact you if there are questions or issues concerning the details and logistics of your event. Once approved, the park use fees will be assessed based on the size and scope of your event. You may be required to submit a facility use request if your event is planning to use the indoor facilities at park sites.

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Depending on the duration of your event and the availability of public restrooms, you may need to rent portable toilets to accommodate participants. As a general guideline, one (1) portable restroom can serve up to two hundred (200) people. For a short duration event, restroom needs can vary depending on whether food and beverages are served, and the duration and type of event.

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In some cases, the hiring of officers from the Anchorage Police Department, a professional security company, or a combination of both may be required by the Municipality of Anchorage in order to obtain a Special Event Park Permit. A security plan may be required in addition to the Special Event Park Permit to include:

  • Expected attendance
  • Location of the event
  • The presence of alcohol
  • History of the event
  • Nature of the event
  • Street closures
  • The amount of advertising used for an event
  • Type of music to be played

The Chief of Police, or his/her designee, may be required to review the plan and make recommendations to the staff on whether the plan is adequate, and whether officers will be hired to provide security at special events to ensure public safety and the protection of property.

Generally, if you expect fewer than 500 attendees, two security personnel are acceptable. An additional security person may be required for every additional 250 attendees. (A 1-45 ratio is required for some events).

If you are providing bands or a DJ at a dance, you should include a written security management plan. Parks and Recreation approval of this plan is required to obtain a Special Event Park Permit.

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The Municipality of Anchorage is interested in and encourages support to community sponsored special activities. The Municipality recognizes the many social, cultural, and financial benefits that are the result of including special activities in the life of the city. The Municipal Traffic Department is the authorizing agency for any pre-planned activity sponsored by an individual or organization, proposed to be conducted in or having direct effect upon the Municipality’s public Right-of-Way. The purpose of the event(s) can be for entertainment, celebration, recreation, competition, amusement, cultural recognition, or demonstration. The importance of the Special Activity Event Permit is to ensure the general safety of citizens while activities are being conducted in the public right-of-way, and to minimize disruption within the community as a result of special activities being conducted in an organized and approved manner. The traffic department requires a special activity permit. Once approved, the event will be expected to follow all requirements. As stated in MOA Policy & Procedure 4601, an approved Special Activity Permit is required for any such event.

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You must properly dispose of waste and garbage throughout the term of your event and immediately upon conclusion of the event the area must be returned to a clean condition. If you, as an event organizer, set a standard of leaving the event site better than you found it, you can have a highly beneficial impact on the community and establish a good reputation for your event in the future. Should you fail to perform adequate cleanup or damage occurs to City property and facilities, you will be billed at full cost recovery rates plus overhead for cleanup and repair. In addition, such failure may result in denial of future approval for a Special Event Park Permit or the requirement of a cash deposit for future events.

Recyclables generated at your event (i.e., aluminum cans, glass, cardboard, etc.) are not required to be recycled. However, we encourage events to consider recycling waste. Several organizations provide collection of recyclables at special events. For more information or assistance, please contact Green Star.

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Vendor booths are usually similar in construction to food booths, but are meant for retail sale of non-food items at park events. A Business Operation Tax Certificate is required to sell, expose for sale, or offer for sale any goods, wares or merchandise in the Municipality of Anchorage.

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Concession Permit Fee *see below

Outdoor Concert Permit *see below

Park Use, Special Event *see below

Park Use, Special Event, < 300 people per day *see below

Park Use, Special Event, 300 - 1000 people per day *see below

Park Use Special Event, 1000 or more people per day *see below


Park Use, Park/Trail Vehicle Transit, per day $ 50.00

Park Encroachment - Per Day charge plus staff cost,

overhead and additional charges for survey and other related

direct costs $ 60.00

Processing Fee - Hourly $ 60.00

Park Use, Memorial (limited) $ 550.00

Park Use, Memorial (extended) $3,850.00

Park Use, Private Utility Lease/Easement (Cost + FMV) $ 250.00

Trail Use, for organized events, per user $ 2.00

Amplified sound at parks & athletic facilities (PA), per day $ 30.00

Lights or electricity use in parks, per day $ 31.50

Park Use Special Event Daily Fees

Participants Per Day

No Concessions

With Concessions

Alcohol Sales ($264)

less than 300


$150 *

.50 per cup + Alcohol Permit ($250)



$250 *

.50 per cup + Alcohol Permit ($250)




.50 per cup + Alcohol Permit ($250)



$500 *

.50 per cup + Alcohol Permit ($250)

3,001 – 5,000


$1,000 *

.50 per cup + Alcohol Permit ($250)

5,000 +


$2,500 *

.50 per cup + Alcohol Permit ($250)

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*Vendor Booths

Events with vendor booths will have additional fees per day / per vendor as follows:

  • For profit / Non-profit/commercial vendor - $100 1st day/$100 each subsequent day / per vendor

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Alcohol Sales

Events with alcohol sales must acquire an Alcohol Permit. In addition the vendor is charge .50 per distributed cup. How is this managed?

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Please note that other municipal departments (Fire, Traffic, Health) may charge a fee for their specific permits. We encourage you to contact each department individually about their fees, prior to submitting your application.

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