Helpful Hints for Expediting the Special Event Permit Process

Advance planning and knowledge of the City’s Special Event Permit Process can increase your chances of obtaining a permit in a timely manner.

Rental of a Park or the Expo Lot


To rent a City-owned park or the vacant lot at 735 E. Trafficway (Expo Lot), it requires a rental contract, rental fee, deposit, and liability insurance. For more information on the Expo Lot contact the special event permit coordinator Spain at 417-864-1105 or events@springfieldmo.gov.  For events taking place solely on Parks property, contact  Springfield-Greene County Parks at 417-864-1049.  

Obtaining Insurance (Up to Six Weeks)

Obtaining special events insurance could be time-consuming depending on your specific situation.


General Liability ($1 million policy)
Events held on public property (streets, Park Central Square, Springfield Expo Center lot and parks) require special paperwork, including proof of general liability insurance with the City included as an additional insured and the completion of an agreement that holds the City harmless for any actions arising out of your specific use of the property.

It’s important to make sure that the legal entity (organization or an individual) signing the event permit application, matches with the entity listed on the certificate of insurance and the hold harmless agreement.

While the City cannot advocate for any one specific insurance product or company, it can assist event planners by offering a Tenant Users Liability Insurance Policy, or TULIP. The program is an easy to use, fast method of insuring most types of events and activities taking place at various facilities and venues throughout the United States.

The TULIP Program provides low cost general liability insurance to “third party” users of various venues and facilities for events. It protects both the user and the facility against claims by guests who may be injured as a result of attending an event.

Liquor Liability ($1 million policy)
For events selling or serving alcohol, each liquor vendor is required to provide liquor liability insurance naming the City as an additional insured is required. A third party agreement may be required with your liquor vendor.

Obtaining Catering/Picnic Licenses to Sell or Serve Alcohol (Up to 10 business days)


Events selling or serving alcohol require catering or picnic licenses issued by the state of Missouri. The process to obtain a license could take five to 10 business days.

Meeting Tent Guidelines (Up to 10 business days)


The best way to ensure that the proper safety measures are in place for your events that include tents, is to consult directly with the Springfield Fire Department. The tent permit process may include a tent inspection. Please allow five to 10 business days. 

Ensuring Public Safety 


Ensuring public safety is everyone’s job, but the Springfield Police Department can be any event planner’s best friend. Corporal Chris Welsh is your personal liaison to help design your event to be cost effective and safe. When applicable, SPD determines the number of officers needed for your event. Events such as races, walks and parades and events with an attendance of more than 1,000 have considerably larger public safety needs than others. The cost for hiring extra duty Springfield police officers is $28/hour with a minimum four-hour shift. SPD charges a $50-$165 administrative fee for the schedule software needed to accommodate the scheduling of extra duty officers.

When applicable, SPD determines the number of officers needed for your event. Events such as races, walks and parades and events with an attendance of more than 1,000 have considerably larger public safety needs than others. The cost for hiring extra-duty Springfield police officers is $28/hour with a minimum four-hour shift. SPD charges a $50-$165 administrative fee for the schedule software needed to accommodate the scheduling of extra-duty officers.

For events with more than 500 in attendance, City Manager Greg Burris determines whether or to what extent, additional police and fire marshals are necessary for crowd and traffic control.