Effective January 1, 2020 - see Ch. 39 of the La Crosse Municipal Code (or Ordinance 5113 until the Municipal Code is codified).
The City’s goal is to encourage and help coordinate special community events, while regulating these events in a positive manner to ensure the health and safety of participants at the event, efficient management of City services and the protection of public lands and facilities.
Special event means a temporary planned occurrence on public or private property and involves at least one of the circumstances listed below:
- Exclusive use of all or part of waterways, or City-owned facilities, within the City boundaries such as buildings, parks, open spaces, streets, parking lots, athletic fields, etc., but does not include normal park shelter rentals or La Crosse Center rentals.
- Will involve the closing of a public way; not including neighborhood block parties pursuant to section 40-107.
- Over 200 people at any one time attending the event on private property, except those situations meeting the definition of a public assembly.
- City ordinances and rules require public safety support by City employees.
- Will require extraordinary services by any City department.
- Hours of the event extend beyond those otherwise adopted in City ordinances.
- Alcohol beverages and/or food will be served or sold, merchandise or other items are sold and/or outdoor music is provided.
A special event is not intended to include private events such as family gatherings, weddings or funeral ceremonies and processions not intended for the general public or for events that do not require extraordinary services or require any additional City licenses or permits. For exempt events, refer to sec. 39-11(b) of the La Crosse Municipal Code of Ordinances.
How to Apply
Applications shall be made in writing on the form prescribed by law and filed with the City Clerk's Office who may issue the same after appropriate review by the special event staff. Applications shall be filed no less than sixty (60) days prior to the event and no more than one (1) year prior in advance.
Permit fees are based on duration, use or closure of public way and/or outdoor music as follows:
|Class I: Single Day Event|
|a. without use or closure of public way and no outdoor music||$35|
|b. with use or closure of public way only - one city block or less||$75|
|c. with use or closure of public way only - greater than one city block||$100|
|d. with use or closure of public way and/or outdoor music||$150|
|Class II: Multiple Day Event|
|a. without use or closure of public way and no outdoor music.||$35|
|b. with use or closure of public way only – one city block or less||$150|
|c. with use or closure of public way only – greater than one city block||$250|
|d. with use or closure of public way and/or outdoor music.||$300|
The applicable permit fee is due at the time of application (cash, check payable to City Treasurer or credit with convenience fee).
If a special event requires more than the reasonable and necessary services provided by the City that specifically result from the event, the applicant may be required to pay the actual costs for the use of equipment, resources or services. This may include, but is not limited to, police personnel and services, fire personnel and services, traffic control, parks services, street department personnel and services and other services necessary to ensure the protection of participants and citizens, the proper functioning of City services and the proper administration of this ordinance and policies. The City reserves the right to require advance full or partial payment of estimated extraordinary service costs prior to the event.
Insurance in the amounts listed below must be provided at the time of filing this application - the name of the event and date must be listed on the certificate.
- Comprehensive general liability insurance in the amount of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage.
- Automobile liability insurance in the amount of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage covering all vehicles to be used as part of the event. Said policy shall cover all owned, non-owned and hired vehicles.
- For events selling or serving alcohol, liquor liability insurance in the amount of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence for bodily insurance, personal injury and property damage.
The City of La Crosse must be named as additional insured in connection with said special event (via ISO endorsement CG2010, CG2033 or insurer’s equivalent for general liability coverage), and the endorsement must accompany the certificate of insurance at the time of application.
If a governmental entity is self-insured, it must provide evidence of alternative proof of coverage, in a form acceptable to the City Clerk.
For more information, contact the City Clerk's Office at (608) 789-7510.