Common permits for special events in Boston
You may need permits from several departments to host an event in Boston.
To host a special event on either public or private property outdoors in the City of Boston, you need to apply to host a special event. You may be required to meet with the Special Events committee where you will need to provide a production schedule and a site plan for your event. Finally, you may need to get permits from several departments represented on the Special Event Committee.
To obtain the final permit from the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing, you will be required to submit the Special Events application signed by the Police Captain as well as the other permits required by the Special Events Committee.
Still have questions? Contact:
Review this helpful reference sheet with all department contacts related to Special Event permitting.
Location reservationsLocations reservations
Before applying to host a special event in Boston, you need to secure your date and venue.
You can reserve a public park online for a special event with the Parks and Recreation Department.
To apply to host an event at these locations, you make a request with the Property Management Department.
To plan an event on the Greenway, you need to go through the Greenway Conservancy.
To plan an event on private property outdoors, you should obtain a letter from the property owner granting you permission to...
Street permitsStreet permits
The permit allows you to restrict access to a section of a street or sidewalk for a certain amount of time.
City departments often refer to this type of permit as a "Play Street Closing Permit."
Learn about how to apply for your road race and parade permit with the Transportation Department.
Building and safety permits
Will your event have a tent, stage, temporary structure, special effects, or a generator?
Will you require Emergency Medical Services, Inspectional Services, or the Fire Department?
Apply for a tent, stage, or a temporary structure permit.
Download the application for a generator permit.
Your event may require an EMS special event permit.
Learn more about how to apply for a place of assembly permit.
Learn more about how to apply for your special effects permit.
Tents have specific requirements, depending on your event.
Download the applications for a general permit with the Fire Department.
View Special Event related documents
Food safety and health permits
Are you cooking and serving food at your event?
Download the application for an open cooking permit.
Download the application for a temporary heat permit.
Download the registration form for catering.
Review the temporary food services procedures.
Download the application for a temporary food service permit.
Review the regulations for food trucks at your event.
Alcohol and entertainment permits
Does your event include alcohol, carnival games, or live entertainment?
Apply for a special one-day alcoholic beverage license.
You need a license to host a one-time event, like a carnival or festival.
Apply for an amendment to existing license (extension of premise).
Still have questions?Questions?
Once you apply to host your special event, we will contact you to schedule a meeting with the Special Event Committee.