The purpose of this information is to guide you through the process of organizing a special event to be held in the City of Columbia. Some of the information provided may not be applicable to your particular event.
Complete the steps or forms outlined on this page for any organized activity involving the use of or having impact upon public property, public facilities, parks, sidewalks, street areas or the temporary use of private property in a manner that varies from its current land use.
Step 1: Special Use Permit
The City of Columbia is transitioning to a new Special Use Application Form. Events occurring in 2014 will complete the new form which we anticipate will be complete in the next 90 days. If you have questions, please contact Carol Rhodes at 874-7600.
Complete a Special Use Application Form and send it to:
City Manager’s Office
701 E. Broadway,
Columbia, MO 65201
Step 2: Temporary Business License
The business/group promoting and organizing the event for profit must obtain a City temporary business license. Contact the City Business License Office for more information: Sophie Dubbels (573) 874-7378 or Janice Finley (573) 874-7747
Step 3: Other
The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, all events held on City property must be accessible to people with disabilities. The City of Columbia’s ADA
Coordinator provides the attached guidance to assist you in ensuring that your events are accessible.
Review the following list of topics and complete the necessary actions for all applicable items:
- Review the City of Columbia Alcohol Ordinance
- Approval is needed from City Council before alcohol can be served at an event.
Contact Carol Rhodes: (573) 874-7219
- A City temporary liquor license (caterer’s permit) is required
if alcohol will be sold at the event.
Contact the City Business License Office for information: Dawn Ettleman (573) 874-7378 or Janice Finley (573) 874-7747
- A State temporary liquor license is also required. Contact the State Division of Liquor Control (573) 751-2964 The application for a city temporary liquor license must be received at least 15 days prior to the date of the event. The City license must be obtained prior to the issuance of the State license.
- A Boone County liquor license is also required.
Each food vendor must receive approval from the City/County Health Department 15 days prior to the event. Call (573) 874-7346.
Complete a Parks and Recreation Special Use Permit request to reserve a park shelter/facility or call (573) 874-7460 for more information
A permit is needed for parades, special events, run/walk event, etc.
- If the event will occur on general city property (streets, downtown, etc.), complete the parade and special events application and submit online or return it to the Columbia Police Department at:
600 East Walnut,
Columbia, MO 65201-449. For online submission, a map of the parade route must be emailed to
Krista Shouse-Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (573) 874-3142 and phone (573)874-7525.
- If the event will occur on a city trail or park, complete the Parks and Recreation Special Use Permit or contact the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department at (573) 874-7460.
- Applicable City ordinances:
- Obstructing streets and sidewalks:
Any person who shall deposit, place, paint, write, erect or maintain any structure,material, article, substance, decoration or thing on, in or above any street, curb, gutter, park, parkway, sidewalk or public place of the city, except as specifically authorized by the city council by resolution, or as otherwise provided for by the code of ordinances, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor;
- General disfiguration and removal: It shall be unlawful for any person in a park to mark, deface, disfigure, injure, tamper with or displace or remove, any building; bridges; tables; benches; fireplaces; railings; paving or paving material; water lines or other public utilities or parts or appurtenances thereof; signs, notices or placards, whether temporary or permanent; monuments; stakes; posts; or other boundary markers, or other structures or equipment, facilities or park property or appurtenances whatsoever, either real or personal.
Other Related city ordinance: Parade Ordinance, Permit Denial Appeals, Upholding Denial Standards
Complete the street closure request form and obtain signatures from all businesses affected by the closure. Street
Closures within the Downtown area must go to Council
for approval. Submit completed form(s) to the City Manager's Office to
be reviewed and placed on the Council agenda. For other street closures or for more information contact Carol Rhodes, (573) 874-7219.
Return completed street closure forms to:
Carol Rhodes, City Manager’s Office
701 E. Broadway,
Columbia, MO 65201
Protective inspection needs to be contacted if any tents or signs will be used for the event. Contact: (573) 874-7259
- use of open flames
- cooking or heating appliances
- tents or canopies
- air-supported and inflated devices or structures (jump castles, slides, etc.)
- combustible decorative materials
- special amusement structures
- compressed gas or the blocking of emergency access roads
A Special Events Permit must be obtained from the Columbia Fire Department, 201 Orr Street, 573-874-7556, between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday.
- public safety, please contact: Krista Shouse-Jones, email@example.com, phone (573)874-7525.
- parking or transportation, please contact: Nick Paul (573) 874-7250
- dumpster, recycling containers or trash service, please contact: Richard Wieman, (573) 874-6290
- street maintenance or barricades, please contact: Sam Thomas, (573) 874-6288
- traffic plans, please contact: Richard Stone: (573) 874-7643
- electric utilities, please contact: John Blakemore: (573) 874-7313
- water utilities, please contact: Rick Turner: (573) 817-6470
- sewer utilities, please contact: Buster Adkisson (573) 874-6287
- natural gas utilities, please contact: Ameren UE - 1-800-552-7583