Do I need a special event permit? 

Not every event requires an event permit. The Office of Special Events uses three types of event designations: Minor Event, Basic Event and Enhanced Event. Permits are optional for minor events. More information about ordinances regarding Minor Events can be found here. 

A special event permit is required for the following: 

  • Attendance of 500 people or more 
  • Activities that could disrupt the flow of traffic or pedestrians
  • The sale of alcohol
  • The discharging of fireworks or pyrotechnics
  • Vendors selling goods/services
  • The preparation and/or sale of food 
How far in advance should I apply for a permit for my event? 
  • Minor Event permits are optional. Minor Event permit applications should be submitted no later than 10 days prior to the event.
  • Basic Event permit applications must be submitted no later than 20 days prior to the event.
  • Enhanced Event permit applications must be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the event.

Events that involve serving or selling alcohol require alcohol license applications six (6) weeks prior to the event.  

Is there a fee to apply for a special event permit? 

There is no application fee at this time. 

How long will it take to process my permit application? 

Upon submission of an application, it will be quickly reviewed by the Office of Special Events as well as other representatives within the City’s public safety, inspection and Parks & Recreation departments. 

Why was my permit application denied? 

A primary reason why permits are denied is because applicants fail to complete the application or submit the required documents. Other reasons why permits can be denied can be found in Chapter 23, Article IV, Division 2, Section 23-237 of the City's ordinances. If you have questions about why your application was denied, contact the Office of Special Events at  

Can I appeal if my application was denied?

Yes. Event Organizers can contact the Office of Special Events in writing within five (5) days of being denied a permit to request a hearing to appeal the decision. More information about appealing a denied permit application can be found here. 

I've submitted my application. What are the next steps? 

Once your application is submitted, it will go through the process of being reviewed by the Office of Special Events as well as representatives from other departments. We will work diligently to ensure event organizers receive their permits in a timely fashion. 

There’s an event happening that is disruptive to me. Who can I contact? 

Event organizers are encouraged to submit a “good neighbor” letter to residents and businesses that could be impacted by a special event. If you received a letter and believe the event is violating the noise ordinance, call the City of Huntsville’s non-emergency number, 256-722-7100. 

Are site plans required for all special events? 

Yes. Your special event permit application will not be approved without a detailed site plan.

How will I know if my application is approved? 

You will receive an email from the Office of Special Events notifying you when your special event permit is approved, along with a signed permit for you to download and print. If additional information is needed, or if the date and/or location you requested are not available, you will be contacted and we will work with you for alternate accommodations.