Application Process

Permit applications may be filed as early as 6 months prior to an event; however, they must be received no later than 12 weeks prior to the actual event date.  Please note that first time and larger events take more time to plan, so event applications should be turned in early for proper consideration.

The City will only approve one event per calendar day that requires the use of City resources so please check the Event Calender for available dates.  Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.  The City reserves the right to dedicate particular days for annual events that have taken place for the past 3 consecutive years.  The City will not consider event applications for days that are considered holidays for City employees, if City staffing is determined to be required for the event.

Applications for parades, walking, running, and biking events will only be considered for City-approved courses, provided that adequate resources such as law enforcement/traffic control, and public works are provided for.

The permit process begins when you submit an Event Application.  Acceptance of your application should in no way be construed as final approval or confirmation of your request.  Events should not be advertised until conceptual approval for the event has been granted by the Event Team. 

Approval of an event application does not guarantee the reservation of City facilities.  Reservations for the use of pavilions in Stewart Park and Cass Park are available through the Ithaca Youth Bureau (607) 273-8364 and are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis after January 1st of each year.  Reservations for the use of fields in Cass Park are available through Cass Park (607) 273-1090 and are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis after January 1st of each year.  Reservations for the use of the Commons are available through the City Clerk’s Office (607) 274-6570 on a first-come, first-served basis.  Similarly, reservation of City facilities does not guarantee approval of an event permit application.

The Special Events Team has the authority to deny a permit application for reasons that include, but are not limited to, the determination that:

  • the application is not complete or has not met the established timelines;
  • public safety is at risk;
  • the proposed resources are not adequate to handle the event;
  • the quality of life for surrounding communities will be unreasonably impacted;
  • vehicular traffic flow will be inappropriately compromised;
  • the City cannot provide the needed resources;
  • elements of the event are in violation of the City of Ithaca Municipal Code or Regulations, or State or Federal Laws
  • the event has unpaid financial obligations to the City from previous events

 Denials of event permits may be appealed in writing to the Mayor’s Office.