Circus, Carnival or Menagerie License

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Effective January 1, 2020, a Special Event Permit is required in addition to a license for a Carnival, Circus or Menagerie.

See New Special Event Procedures pursuant to Ordinance 5113 adopted October 10, 2019.

No person shall exhibit any circus, carnival or menagerie of any kind without first having obtained a license therefore; except as provided as follows:

  1. An event held within the confines of the La Crosse Center under contract with the La Crosse Center and the City of La Crosse.
  2. An event offering only one (1) carnival attraction (i.e. one amusement ride or one inflatable) and is offered free of admission or other charge.

See Ch. 10, Article VIII of the La Crosse Municipal Code.

License Fee

A non-refundable license fee in the amount of $110.00 per day per location is due at the time of application (cash, check payable to City Treasurer or credit with convenience fee).

How to Apply

Applications shall be made in writing on the form prescribed by law and filed with the City Clerk's Office in conjunction with the relevant special event application. Applications shall be filed with the City Clerk not less than sixty (60) days prior to the event and no more than one (1) year in advance. The license fee, clean-up bond and insurance shall accompany the application.

Clean-up Bond Requirement

In addition to the license fee, a $250.00 cash deposit is required at the time of application to guarantee clean up and proper disposal of all rubbish, trash and every other material deposited in the streets or public way of the City or upon the grounds where the exhibition is held. If the City determines the cleanup is satisfactory, the City Clerk shall refund the bond. In the event damages are caused on public property or clean up is required, the cost of either or both shall be itemized and deduced from the bond, and the balance returned. Any fees over and above the deposit will be invoiced to the operator.

Insurance Requirement

Every carnival, circus or menagerie shall carry single limit liability insurance including complete operations in the amount of $1,000,000. The liability insurance policy shall include the City of La Crosse as an “Additional Insured.” The Insurance Company providing the coverage shall be rated “B” or better in Best’s Key Rating Guide and shall be licensed in the State of Wisconsin. A Certificate of Insurance shall be filed with the City Clerk prior to issuance of the license.

Note: The certificate insurance must describe the event and the additional insured endorsement must accompany the certificate.


For more information, contact the City Clerk's Office at (608) 789-7510.

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer