Special Events

The City of Pasadena’s HSR Special Events Office strives in helping events that bring the community together to take place safely and successfully on its streets and in its parks. This office processes applications for review by the appropriate City Departments and assists event organizers through the permitting process for events that happen within the City of Pasadena. The Special Event Coordinator serves as your primary contact with the City of Pasadena Departments.

The HSR Special Events Office is also responsible for creating safe and fun Citywide festivals for the Human Services and Recreation Department, such as the Fall Festival, Egg Bowl & Mayor’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting.

Within this site are guidelines and requirements, event calendars, and contact information.

Events Calendar

Planning a Special Event

Thank you for your interest in considering the City of Pasadena for your upcoming special event. We host hundreds of annual events that take place in our parks, streets, and facilities including festivals, block parties, walks and marathons, ceremonies and many more.


What is a Special Event?

A special event is any activity open to the public taking place in a City park, street, or other City facility.

Private events which impede on the Public Right of Way may also be subject to a special events permit.

Large private events taking place on City property, depending on the nature of the event, may also require a special events permit


Types of Events

Concerts Fund-raising events Running events
Parades Bicycle races Car Shows
Fairs Promotional events Community Oriented Events
Festivals Marathons Ceremonial Programs

Before we can approve your event, we need more information from you. Please complete a Special Event Inquiry Sheet to provide us more information about your proposed event.

Depending on the size and scope of your event, applications must be received anywhere from 9 months to 6 months prior to your event day.

Once you complete the Special Event Inquiry Sheet, please forward it to one of the following City Departments depending on the type of event proposed:

Large-Scale Events

Economic Development

Large-scale events that bring visitors to the City and promote Pasadena as a tourist destination are managed by the Economic Development Division.(Examples include: Tournament of Roses Post Parade, Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon, & Concourso Ferrari).

Special Events Inquiry Sheet

(626) 744-4660

Community-Oriented Events

HSR Special Events Office

Local in nature and geared towards a particular constituency are coordinated by the Human Services & Recreation Department. (Examples include: 5k’s, cultural festivals, ceremonial events, street festivals, and non-profit fundraisers).

HSR Special Events Inquiry Sheet

Dolores Mendoza
Special Events Coordinator
(626) 744-7507

City Hall Events

Public Works

Weddings and private events at City Hall in the courtyard and rotunda are coordinated by the Public Works Department.  Events open to the public require a special events permit from the HSR Special Events Office.

City Hall Courtyard or Rotunda Areas Permit Application

Rosa De La Torre
Administrative Specialist
(626) 744-4195

Personal photography does not require a commercial film permit, however professional photographers are required to have a Pasadena Business License.
For further information, please contact the Business License division at (626) 744-4166.

Event Fees

Effective July 1, 2016

The General Fee Schedule is adopted by City Council annually and becomes effective on July 1st of each year. Please check off all of the fees that apply to your proposed event to create an estimate for any potential event fees. Hourly public safety personnel fees (police & fire) are not listed below. Please submit an event application to obtain an estimate of these fees.

Below are the base fees associated with rentals of the various locations (Public Right-of-Way, Parks, & City Hall). Permit fees for all other aspects of an event (amplified sound, tents, food vendors, electrical, stage, etc.) follow behind the locations.

Special Event Fees


Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of events require special event permits?

Events that are open to the general public and take place within the public right-of-way or are located within a park would be coordinated through the special event permit process. Typically, these events require permits, licenses and approvals from several City departments depending on the size and nature of the special event.

How do I get a permit to hold a special event in Pasadena?

To initiate the special event permitting process, please complete the “HSR Special Event Inquiry Sheet” available online at www.cityofpasadena.net/humanservices. Email the completed inquiry sheet to hsrevents@cityofpasadena.net . Please note that the acceptance of your application should in no way be construed as final approval of your event. The City of Pasadena requires that event application be submitted at least 6 months in advance of the proposed event date. Events with major impacts must be submitted 9 months in advance.

What happens after I submit my special event permit application?

Once your Inquiry Sheet has been received by the HSR Special Events Office you will be contacted to discuss your event proposal. Copies of the application will be distributed to all city departments impacted by your event. A coordinating meeting may be held to clarify questions and ensure that you are meeting all of the requirements of the special event permitting process. During the coordinating meeting you will be notified if your event requires any additional information, permits, licenses or certificates.

If an event is on private property, what type of permits do I need?

A special event permit is not required for events that take place on private property. Depending on the nature of the event, various permits may be required including the following:

  • If you will have food sales please contact the Health Department for a Health Permit at (626) 744-6064.
  • If the food vendor is using open flame or cooking equipment, please contact the Fire Department for an Open Flame Permit at (626) 744-4668.
  • If you will have tents a Tent Permit is required from the Permit Center at (626) 744-6777.
  • If you are using amplified sound you must adhere to the City’s noise ordinance regarding hours of amplified sound and sound decibel limitations.
  • Please contact the Police Department’s Event Planning Section at (626) 744-4623 if you would like to hire Police Officers for your event.
  • You may also contact the Watch Commander at (626) 744-4501 the morning of your event to notify them that the activity is taking place.

How do I get a permit to hold my wedding or private reception at City Hall?

Please contact the Public Works Department for date availability, reservations, and applications for City Hall events. Public Works can be reached at (626) 744-4195.

How do I get a permit to take wedding or private photography at City Hall?

Personal wedding photography does not require a commercial film permit, however professional photographers are required to have a business license. For further information, please contact Business License at 626-744-4166.

How can I become a vendor at the Rose Parade?

Vendors interested in vending during the Rose Parade must apply for a New Year’s Vendor Permit which can be obtained from the Business License Office at (626) 744-4166.

What kind of permit do I need to complete for a neighborhood block party?

Neighborhood block parties require a Public Right-of-Way Permit Application from the Public Works Department 744-4195. If the block party is being advertised and is open to the public, you will require a special events permit and should submit a HSR Special Events Inquiry Sheet.

Is insurance required for a special event?

Yes. General liability is required to hold event on City property. All vendors who participate in the event are also required to provide insurance and obtain a business license. Requirements can be found at Special Events Insurance Requirements.