The City of Yakima desires to accommodate special events in the public spaces of our community and does so for the social and economic benefits of the citizens and businesses of the community. Special events will be considered for approval based on compliance with these Special Event Guidelines. Events should be well organized and appropriately supported from the planning stages through clean up and tear down.

BLOCK PARTIES: If you are requesting to close part of a street for the purpose of hosting an event for you and your neighbors, please use this application form instead: Block Party Application.

  • If your block party is part of National Night Out, you are exempt from this permit process and only need to notify the Yakima Police Department of the street closure. National Night Out is a nationwide campaign aimed at involving communities in crime and drug prevention awareness that takes place on the first Tuesday of August each year. Yakima residents are encouraged to gather with neighbors to work on common projects and strengthen community relationships. For more information, visit:

The following information corresponds to the Special Event and Parade Permit Application and is intended as a guideline to assist those proposing an event in the City of Yakima, WA.

Application forms must be signed and submitted by mail or in person. Applicants who do not live in or near Yakima may submit applications via email along with the original application submitted via mail (US Mail, Fed-Ex, UPS, etc). The person signing the application form is responsible for ensuring that all special event conditions are met.

Special Event Guidelines

A “Special Event” is any fair, show, parade, run/walk, festival, or other publicly attended entertainment or celebration which is to be held in whole or in part upon publicly owned property or public rights-of-way, or if held wholly upon private property, will nevertheless affect or impact the ordinary and normal use by the general public of public property or public rights-of-way within the vicinity of such event. Any person or entity who conducts, promotes, or manages a special event or parade shall first obtain a special event permit from the Planning Division. The Planning Division is authorized to issue permits for special events occurring within the city limits, pursuant to the procedures established in YMC 9.70 Special Event – Parades. The Planning Division is authorized to determine the special event venue and may impose reasonable conditions on the use of the special events venue. A pre-application meeting should be held no less than six months in advance of a new special event and no less than three months in advance of a repeat special event. For that reason, persons proposing an event in Yakima are required to review these Guidelines and contact the Planning Division to schedule an appointment to discuss the application requirements which may or may not require the submission of every component of these Special Event Guidelines. A number of events and activities do not require a special event permit, these events are listed in YMC 9.70.030.

Key Items To Remember

(a) Special Event Fee – A $50 non-refundable permit fee must be submitted with your application. Applications will not begin being processed until fee has been paid. A $100 late fee will be charged in addition to the $50 application fee for fees and applications turned in less than three weeks in advance of the event. Please be aware that there may be other fees associated with the approval of your event, such as inspection fees for tents and for food vendors, that will be required by other city departments.

(b) Timeline – All application materials should be submitted between 45 and 90 days in advance of the event. For new events, we recommend submitting the application 3 months in advance. You must not advertise the new event until approval is authorized by the Planning Division.

(c) Cost Recovery – For-profit events will pay 100% of the Yakima Police Department Services associated with the event. Licensed non-profit organizations will pay 50% of the Yakima Police Department services. The cost recovery police services fee will not apply to first amendment events and the following community events: Memorial Day Parade; Cinco De Mayo Parade; 4th of July Celebration; Sunfair Parade; Veteran’s Day Parade; HOG Toy Runs; and Christmas Light Parade. If it is determined that your event will need City services, we will calculate those costs and communicate them with you within a week of turning in your application.

(d) Event Insurance – Insurance coverage forms must be submitted 30 days in advance of your event date in order for your event to be considered. Please pay special attention to the City’s insurance requirements described in the Special Event Guidelines document.


The following definitions and descriptions are to be used to assist special event applicants in completing the Special Event and Parade Permit Application.

Event Organizer and Contact Information

(a) Contact Name – Please provide the event organizer’s name. The event organizer will be the point of contact for working through the special event permit process with City staff.

(b) Organization Name – Please provide the name of the organization producing the event. If the organization is a licensed non-profit organization, please include the organization’s State UBI number.

(c) Organization Address – Please provide the full mailing address for the event organizer. The City will send all mailed correspondence to this mailing address.

(d) Phone – Please provide the office, home, and/or cell phone number for the event organizer.

(e) Email – Please provide an email address for the event organizer, as much of the correspondence for the event application process is done over email. If you would like additional people copied on correspondence from the City regarding this permit please list their email addresses as well.

(f) Event Website – Please provide the official website address where the event will be promoted.

(g) Public Liaison Contact – If not the event organizer, please provide the name and phone number for the individual who is the public liaison for the event. Often times the City will receive requests from the media asking for event information. The public liaison’s contact is what the City will provide to the media.

(h) Onsite Liaison Contact – If not the event organizer, please provide the name and cell phone number for the individual who will be in charge on the day or days of the event. An on-site liaison must be identified and must be present and available via cell phone during set-up, tear down and during the event. This person must have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the event organizer and must be accessible to City staff.

Special Event Details

(a – e) Event Name, Type, Description, Beneficiaries and History: Please provide a short narrative including the event name, details of the event and the beneficiaries of any fundraising. If this is a reoccurring event, please provide details about new activities planned for this year.

(f) Event Dates and Times: Please provide start and finish times for each day of the event, including any additional days and times required for set up and tear-down (including clean-up). If applicable, performance schedules and any other important times should also be provided. All contractors, suppliers and other persons involved in any way with the event should be aware of these critical times and are required to schedule their work accordingly. Setup and clean-up times should only be as long as is necessary and should be restricted only to required areas of the site. The City reserves the right to work with event organizers to adjust event times if the event interferes with other events or business activity.

(g – h) Event Location and Public Right-of-Way: Please provide details about the proposed event location including all streets and/or sidewalks requested to be closed by the special event. These should be shown on your site plan as well. The City reserves the right to work with the event organizer to determine the best location for the event to be held. Events will be encouraged in the Downtown Yakima Business Improvement District (DYBID) that increases the economic vitality of the district. Before an event in the DYBID district will be approved, the Planning Division will determine if the event organizer should meet with business community representatives to discuss ways to include their participation in the event. Special events taking place at city parks, including the Millennium Plaza, will require a permit from City of Yakima Parks & Recreation (

(i) Attendance: Please provide an estimated number of event participants and spectators. The number of participants and spectators should be estimated as accurately as possible as they will be used to determine the requirements of the safety plan, traffic plan and potential security deposit. For parades, please list the number and types of vehicles, animals and participants. The application should also indicate if the event is ticketed (and the price), open to the public, or private.

(j) Traffic: Please identify all potential traffic impacts anticipated by your event. Special attention should be paid to ingress and egress of all residential property near the event or parade route. The Planning Division and the Yakima Police Department may assist with developing a traffic plan which minimizes disruptions to business and residential traffic flows. Note: emergency vehicle access may stop, delay or otherwise interfere with the event. Vehicle movement on site may not be permitted during times when the event is open to the public.

(k) Parking: Please explain where attendees, vendors and volunteers will park at the event, and show the parking locations on your site plan or on a separate map. City parking may be available to accommodate some or all of the parking needs although impacts to the public’s use of public parking spaces shall be limited. Parking arrangements for event staff, vendors and entertainments must be arranged in advance – they are not to use public parking lots. Events, parades and jogging events requiring removal of access to public parking (on-street or public parking lots) in the event location or along the route require notification one day in advance of the event. Windshield reminder notices are distributed by the organizer the evening before the event and any remaining vehicles are towed at the time of the event.

(l) Disabled Access: Describe how the event will include provisions for access for persons with disabilities and provide a map as appropriate. This is important both for the disabled and the increasing number of elderly which may have an interest in attending the event. This includes parking and street access, pathways, washrooms and viewing areas.

(m) Personnel: Please list the personnel involved in producing your event, including the number and general job duties of each. It is extremely important the event has an adequate number of properly trained staff and/or volunteers. The best laid plans require excellent execution to result in a well-managed event.

(n) Community Noise Impacts, Event Sound: Events with outdoor entertainment, music, public address systems and speeches (particularly those with amplified sound) shall not unreasonably impact neighboring residents or businesses. No event shall exceed a maximum decibel limit of 95dB measured at the property line over a sustained period of ten minutes. During the site planning approval of the event, the effective property line for sound approval will be determined. Outdoor music and entertainment shall be limited to performing between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Exceptions to the time constraints may be made if recommended by the Planning Division and approved by the City Manager. The event organizer is required to provide the schedule of artists and entertainers to the City no later than 30 days prior to the event or as soon as the artists are known to the event organizer. If sound will only be provided for a portion of the event, please list the time the sound will be provided.

Special events with outdoor music and entertainment shall work closely with the City to ensure the notification procedures described later in this document are followed. In addition, the City may require additional notification as deemed appropriate by the City Manager or Planning Division.

(o) Vendors: The event organizer is required to obtain a City of Yakima General Business License if food or merchandise of any kind will be sold. The business license can be applied and paid for at Yakima City Hall (129 North Second Street, 2nd Floor or Please be specific on your application as to each category of food and/or merchandise. All vendors selling food must apply for a temporary food establishment permit unless they meet all exemptions as noted on Yakima Health Districts’ Food program application and resource page found at: Contact Yakima Health District with questions about your temporary food service license by calling (509) 249-6508 or access the above web page. By signing the special event application and filling out this section on the application, you acknowledge that additional licenses and permits are necessary to sell or provide food, beverages and merchandise at your event.

(p) Food Preparation: The application should note if food will be prepared on site and if so, how it will be prepared on site. If food is being prepared on site, an inspection by the Fire Department will be conducted. A minimum fee of $100 per event day would apply; see YMC 10.05.015 for fee details.
By signing this document and filling out this section you acknowledge that additional inspections and costs are necessary to prepare food at your event.

(q) Alcohol: Will the event serve alcohol? All sales of beer, wine, or spirits during an event require a license from Washington Liquor Control Board and a Special Alcohol Use Permit from the City of Yakima (to be approved by the City Manager and the City of Yakima Police Department). All regulations for selling and serving alcohol must be strictly adhered to during the event. Events with planned sale or handout of alcohol must indicate where the distribution or sale will be located on the Site Plan attached to the application. Please be specific as to how many alcohol vendors will be attending and the type of alcohol sold. By signing the special event application and filling out this section on the application, you acknowledge that additional licenses are necessary to sell or provide alcohol at your event.

(r) Temporary Structures: The location of larger structures such as tents, stages and portable toilets must be included on the site plan. A tent is defined as: a portable shelter of skins, canvas, plastic or the like, supported by one or more poles or a frame and often secured by ropes fastened to pegs in the ground or other weighted items. Tents must meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and are subject to inspection by a City of Yakima code enforcement official. All tents must include an affixed manufacturer’s label stating the tent meet NFPA requirements. If a label is not attached, it will be the event organizer’s responsibility to produce documentation from the manufacturer that the tent meets this standard prior to its acceptance. The City’s Building Official is required to inspect and approve the final installation of all temporary structures over 400 square feet (excluding portable toilets). Please contact the Code Administration at (509) 575-6126 or email to for information regarding inspection fees. Tents in excess of 400 square feet require a tent permit from the City’s Code Administration; the application can be downloaded here:

(s) First Aid Provision: What are the planned first aid provisions for the event? Some events will be required to have first aid provisions on site. The locations of these services must be indicated on the site map.

(t) Safety: Please identify all potential safety issues on your site. The site layout should reflect considerations for safety hazards for the event. For example, electrical cords should be taped down and tripping hazards marked. A 20-foot-wide minimum access corridor may be required on a street, or anywhere else designated by the Fire Department, to allow access by emergency vehicles. No materials which cannot be quickly removed or displaced (e.g. barricades) can be situated in this corridor. Access to fire hydrants should also be unobstructed.

(u) Security: Please identify your security plan for your event. If hiring an outside security service, please indicate the number of security officers that will be present at the event. The applicant has a large degree of responsibility for the behavior of event participants and is responsible for ensuring that appropriate security is in place. Security personnel should be experienced and capable of handling the situations which they may face. They should be in position at all scheduled times and have emergency protocol and communication in place. Site design and event management (e.g. ticket sales) should also minimize risk of security problems. City Police may assist with developing a security plan for the event and in some cases Police approval will be required. If the event is held in an area lacking adequate street lights, appropriate temporary lighting may be required for parking and pedestrian areas to ensure the safety of event participants.

(v) Waste Management: Please identify the event’s waste management plan, including what waste or litter will be generated. An effective Waste Management Plan goes beyond providing recycling containers onsite and indicating trash and refuse will be collected. The waste management plan should include how event staff will pick up trash, the locations or grease barrels if needed, and staging areas where trash will be deposited before it is hauled away. It is the responsibility of the event organizer to make arrangements for waste removal and the pickup and haul away of any additional litter and refuse that is due specifically to their event. Contact the city’s Refuse Division to request garbage receptacles for your event at least three weeks in advance of your event date – (509) 575-6005. Information on recycling can be found online here:
Portable toilets should be provided for attendees or public restrooms made available. Yakima Health Districts recommends 1 portable toilet per 50 people for all day events. If municipal water is not available for the event, the Yakima Health District recommends you provide handwashing stations and bottled water.

Site Plan and/or Route Map

A picture is worth a thousand words! A site plan is required for each location used for the special event. This plan should be clearly presented and include the date it was prepared (any revised plans must include the date). The site plan should include the following as applicable, and any other details you think are helpful:
☐ NORTH, indicated by a directional arrow symbol
☐ Street names
☐ Street closure points
☐ Emergency vehicle access/fire lane (must indicate width of 20-foot minimum along entire length of street closure)
☐ Parking areas
☐ Garbage and recycling areas
☐ Permanent and Temporary structures on site/to be placed on site, including but not limited to: vendor booths, cooking areas, first aid stations, fencing, gates, cables, sound systems, canopies/tents, stages, waste collection bins/stations, portable toilets, etc.
☐ For parades/processions/marches: route with directional arrows, starting point and finishing point, staging area, assembly area, and dispersal area
☐ For runs/races/walks/other athletic events: starting line, finish line, route with directional arrows, street closure points and barricades, water stations or other stopping points along the route
☐ For beer garden or other enclosed area – fencing/barriers (including dimensions) and entrance and exit points

Modifications of the submitted Site Plan and/or Route Map may be recommended by City staff. Upon request, The City of Yakima can provide you a detailed map to assist you in preparing your site plan. Please allow one business day for City staff to create the map.

City Services

City services may or may not be needed for every special event. In 2014, the City began charging for services required to produce the special event. Upon submittal of your application, the Planning Division will submit your required needs to the appropriate City departments to estimate the costs required to perform the necessary services for the event. The cost will then be presented to the applicant for approval. Upon approval, the fee will have to be paid in advance of a permit being presented to an applicant.

The following is a list of City service that may be required for an event:

(a) Police: The City may require the presence of police to ensure public safety. A for-profit event will pay 100% of the Yakima Police Department services associated with the event, and a licensed non-profit will pay 50% of the Yakima Police Department services. A safety and/or security plan will be prepared for all large events and for all events requesting closure of streets in the downtown area. The safety and/or security plan must include a commitment on the part of the organizer to provide or fund sufficient resources to complement those provided by the City and successfully implement the plan. Only Police or others designated by Police have authority to undertake traffic control duties in the City of Yakima. Police must be on location where there are road closures. Any event using streets may not begin until the senior police officer on site ensures that the route is secured and all required resources are in place.

(b) Fire Department: Fire personnel may be required by the City to ensure public safety. Most requirements of the Fire Department will be undertaken during the approval process and through any required inspections of the site setup.

(c) Access to Water or Power: The City of Yakima may be able to provide access to water or power at some sites. Describe how much power is required and how it is intended to be distributed.

Event Insurance Requirement

The following is list of insurance requirements for event organizers in the City of Yakima. Event organizers are required to submit evidence of liability coverage to the Planning Division no less than 30 days prior the event. The liability coverage will be reviewed by the City Attorney. The City of Yakima must be named as an additional insured on all insurance policies.

All special events permit applicants should provide the following minimum insurance requirement:

(a) Commercial General Liability (Occurrence Form). One million dollars per occurrence/two million dollars aggregate combined single limit liability for bodily injury and property damage. If other than the standard CG 00 01 form is used, the policy shall be furnished to the city attorney for review and may be rejected based upon the specified policy exclusions. If animals are included in the event, no animal exclusion will be allowed or approved. The policy shall not contain an assault and battery exclusion.

(b) If sponsor owned or rented vehicles are involved in the event: automobile liability at one million dollars per occurrence combined single limit bodily injury and property damage. This includes coverage for any owned, hired or non-owned vehicles. If the sponsor of the event does not own the vehicles that will be used in the event, then only hired and non-owned auto liability may be required, which can be included on the commercial general liability policy.

(c) If liquor is served at the event: liquor liability coverage shall be required at a one-million-dollar liability limit.

(d) The applicant shall provide a certificate of insurance as proof of the insurance required above that clearly states who the provider is, the amount of coverage, the policy number, and when the policy and provisions provided are in effect. Said policy shall be in effect for the duration of the permit. The certificate of liability insurance policy shall name the city of Yakima, its elected officials, officers, agents, employees and volunteers as additional insureds, and shall contain a clause that the insurer will not cancel the insurance without first giving the city prior written notice. The insurance shall be with an insurance company or companies rated A-VII or higher in Best’s Guide and admitted in the state of Washington, or an A-VII rated approved surplus lines carrier. If the city is damaged by the failure of the applicant to maintain the above insurance or to notify the city, then the applicant shall bear all costs attributable thereto. An expiration, cancellation, or revocation of the insurance policy or withdrawal of the insurer from the insurance policy automatically suspends the permit issued to the applicant until a new insurance policy or reinstatement notice has been filed and approved as provided in this section.

(e) As a further condition of the issuance of any permit, the applicant shall defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the city, its elected officials, officers, agents, employees and volunteers from and against any and all claims, causes of action, damages, losses, and expenses of any kind or nature whatsoever, including but not limited to attorney’s fees and court cost, arising out of, relating to or resulting from the parade or special event and/or the application for the parade or special event.

Notification Requirements

All residents and businesses within 300 feet of the event venue shall be notified in writing of the event date, planned hours of operation and event content no less than 7 days prior to the event. In the case of a parade, all businesses must be notified along the parade route and within 300 feet of the staging or break down area. The notification zone may be limited or extended based on potential impacts determined by the Planning Division. The City will provide the form to be presented to the effected businesses and/or residents by the event. The acceptable ways to notify businesses are:
• A letter mailed to each location or;
• A notice hand delivered to each effected location

General Conditions for Permit Approval

Upon the issuance of a special event permit from the City of Yakima, the following general conditions will apply:

  • The organizer shall not use the site or route for any other purpose than that stated in the permit.
  • The organizer shall be responsible for returning the site, route and/or any City equipment to its original clean condition following the event.
  • The organizer shall be liable for any damage done to the site or route or City equipment during the event.
  • Nothing can be fastened to, hung from or placed in trees, planters or other City property without specific permission.
  • The City shall require a security deposit in an amount estimated to cover the cost of City services and potential damage to City facilities. The amount of the deposit will be based on the location and the projected event attendance and will be determined by the Planning Division. Major event deposits will range from $2,500 to $5,000. The security deposit must be paid for upon issuance of the permit.

Conditions Affecting the Issuance of a Special Event Permit

The Planning Division will have the power to authorize a special event permit if the event meets all of the following conditions:

  • The special event will not substantially interrupt public transportation or other vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area of its route;
  • The special event will not cause an irresolvable conflict with construction or development in the public right-of-way or at a public facility;
  • The special event will not block traffic lanes or close streets during peak commuter hours on weekdays between seven a.m. to nine a.m. and four p.m. to six p.m. on streets designated as arterials by the City’s public works department;
  • The concentration of persons, animals or vehicles will not unduly interfere with the movement of police, fire, ambulance, and other emergency vehicles on the streets;
  • The special event will move from its assembly location to its disbanding location expeditiously and without stopping en route;
  • The special event will not substantially interfere with any other special event for which a permit has already been granted or with the provision of City services in support of other scheduled special events; and
  • The special event will not have significant adverse impact upon residential or business access and traffic circulation in the same general venue.

Reasons for Denial of a Special Event Permit

The Planning Division may deny a special event permit to an applicant if:

  • The special event will create the imminent possibility of violent disorderly conduct likely to endanger public safety or to result in significant property damage;
  • The applicant has failed to provide the necessary insurance documents or security deposit;
  • The special event will violate public health or safety laws;
  • The special event fails to conform to the requirements of law or duly established city policy;
  • The applicant demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to conduct a special event pursuant to the terms and conditions of this chapter;
  • The applicant has failed to provide an adequate first aid or emergency medical services plan based on special event risk factors; or
  • The applicant has failed to pay all fees due from previous special events.

A denied permit can appealed directly to the Yakima City Manager who will issue his written response within seven working days of receiving a written appeal.

Permit Compliance and Event Cancellation

The City retains the right to cancel the event up to and including the day of the event, or at any time during the event in an emergency or if the applicant does not adhere to this or any other related permit conditions. In the event the City finds that there are conditions that were not outlined by the applicant in their application, the event may be subject to additional requirements, or subject to closure. Organizers must designate a named on-site liaison person with authority to ensure compliance with permit conditions or stop the event if necessary at any time during the event. Permits must be picked up prior to your event and must be in possession during your event. Hosting your event without a signed permit agreeing to the conditions imposed by the City is the equivalent of having no official permission to host your event on public property.