Special Events in Tulsa

Tulsa is a city that celebrates special events. This page includes the City of Tulsa's Special Event Permit Application and instructions developed to guide you through the permit process. Please read carefully.

Special Event Permit Applications with a street closure must be received by the City of Tulsa no later than sixty (60) days prior to the actual date of your event and may be submitted as early as one (1) year before your event. A street closing in conjunction with an event inside an adjacent auditorium, theatre or stadium must be received no later than forty (40) days prior to the event. Professional film-making and events without a street closure must be received no later than thirty (30) days prior to the event. In general, any organized outdoor activity involving the use of, or having impact upon, public property, public facilities, right-of-ways, sidewalks, street areas, or the temporary use of private property in a manner that varies from its current land use, requires a permit. Land use regulations may reference public outdoor activities on a parking lot or private property by the placement of a tent(s) larger than 400 square feet, the serving of alcoholic beverages including beer, entertainment with live (band) music, fireworks, stage(s), amusement rides or inflatables, or which has the potential of impacting public property or public safety services.

Carefully review the cover letter attached to the application for additional information on the purpose, requirements, exemptions, zoning, process and fees of the permitting procedure, including the responsibility of the event organizer. There is no fee associated to the application.Please allow up to sixty (60) days for the submittal, review, and final decision on the approval or denial of this permit.

A Special Event Permit does not negate the additional requirements of obtaining the proper Zoning, Health, Alcohol, Beer, Tent, Park, Vendor, Sales and Amusement Ride Permits for an outdoor event. You will be responsible to contact the below relevant agencies for other specific permits and/or licenses.

  • Tents: If you are placing a tent, canopy, stage, or scaffold, etc. on public property, private property, or parking lot, you may need a Tent Permit and/or Building Permit. Tents 400 square feet or less (e.g. 10X10, 10X20 or 20X20) do not require a Tent Permit. Tents over 400 square feet (e.g. 20X30 or larger - see below tent groupings) do require a Tent Permit. If a tent permit is required, must obtain a tent permit before erecting a tent. Tent stakes driven into the ground or tent straps attached to poles are prohibited on public property. Please contact the One-Stop-Permit Center at 918-596-9601. Information on permits is available online.  Review below Tent requirements:
  1. 10X10 tents may be single or grouped up to 4 but must not exceed 400 square feet.
  2. 10X20 tents may be single or grouped up to 2 but must not exceed 400 square feet.
  3. Grouping of said tents must have an access space of 12 feet between any other group, tent, building and property line.
  4. 20X20 tents must have an access space of 12 feet between any other group, tent, building and property line.
  5. No smoking in any size tent (vendor and customers). Must post "No Smoking" signs.
  6. Tents with 2 or more covered sides or during dark hours must display illuminated "Exit" signs. Tent occupancy over 50 must have 2 exits. Tent occupancy over 500 must have 3 exits. Tent occupancy over 1,000 must have 4 exits.
  7. Tents must not block fire hydrants or FDC connections.
  8. Generators must be separated by 20 feet from tents.
  9. No cooking in tents unless separated by 20 feet from any other tent, building and property line.
  10. No food can be served or consumed in a tent used for cooking.
  11. Need 1 portable fire extinguisher (2A:10BC) for every 3,000 square feet of tent or within 75 feet of travel, whichever is greater.
  12. Tents 400 square feet or less (e.g. 20X20) not spaced per the above guidelines would require a Tent Permit.
  • Structures: If you are placing any entertainment structure (i.e. amusement ride, inflatable, climbing wall, etc.) on public property, private property, or parking lot, you will need a Certificate of Operation. Please contact the Oklahoma Department of Labor at 405-521-6561. For information go to www.labor.ok.gov.
  • Outdoor Beer: If you are selling low-point beer at your event, three (3) separate special event beer permits are required to sale beer outdoors on public property [sidewalk, street, etc.] and includes private property [shared parking lot] adjacent to a business.
  1. A Special Event County Beverage Permit will be issued fourteen (14) days after the filing of the application if no protest is filed. If an objection or request for restrictions is filed, the judge shall rule on the special event beer application after a five (5) day notice is provided to the applicant and other applicable parties.
  2. Once the Special Event County Beverage Permit is issued by the Tulsa County Courthouse, deliver this document to the Oklahoma Tax Commission and obtain a Special Event Low-point Beer License.
  3. As these two (2) documents are received, present said documents to the City of Tulsa Business License Office and obtain a Special Event City Beverage Permit.
  4. These three (3) special event beer permits as described cover multiple outdoor beer serving locations within the approved venue [road closure/parking lot] with geographic restrictions [up to one (1) block].
  5. A business or retail dealer who possesses a current low-point beer business license and would like to set up a beverage cart(s) on their business property such as their patio, courtyard, plaza or sole parking lot [extension of business property - not shared with any other business and must provide a letter of ownership or lease agreement], then an additional special event outdoor beer permit is not required. The sales/serving of low-point beer must occur within the property premise (e.g. no serving from the patio to customers on the sidewalk). Please contact the Tulsa County Courthouse at 918-596-5478, Oklahoma Tax Commission at 918-581-2399 and City of Tulsa Business License Office at 918-596-7640. Information on City of Tulsa Ordinances is available online.
  • Outdoor Alcohol: If you are selling and/or serving high-point beer and/or alcohol at your event, you will need to notify the Oklahoma ABLE Commission in writing to verify the Catering License and provide plans for outdoor alcohol premise enforcement prior to your event. Please contact the Oklahoma ABLE Commission at 918-581-2402. Information on City of Tulsa Ordinances is available online.
  1. If your event is open to the public or is a private event in a venue location where alcohol consumption is prohibited except with a special event permit, the City of Tulsa prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the event venue outside of a controlled space, commonly referred to as a "beer garden".
  2. An event venue is an area that has been closed (e.g. street, sidewalk or parking lot) per a special event permit for the purpose of consumption of low-point beer and/or food and to provide space for bands, stages, tents, tables, inflatables and vendors, etc.
  3. A designated licensed premise is an area within the event venue for the purpose of consumption of high-point beer, alcoholic beverages and food, which may include space for tents, bands, stages, tables and vendors, etc. A designated licensed premise referred to as a "beer garden" is required to prevent guests from leaving the controlled area with alcoholic beverages. Beer gardens must be constructed with material or in a manner that prevents beverages from being taken outside the controlled space (e.g. crowd control barriers referred to as bicycle racks, signage, security, etc.).
  4. A designated bar area is an area within the designated licensed permise for the purpose of sales and service of alcoholic beverages. A designated bar area must be constructed with material or in a manner that separate guests of a legal drinking age from those who are not (e.g. tent, signage, staff, etc.).
  • Food and Beverages: If you are selling, serving, or giving away food or beverages including beer and alcohol at your event, you will need a Food Service Permit. Please contact the Tulsa Health Department at (918) 595-4322. For information go to www.tulsa-health.org.
  • Sales: If sales will take place at your event, you must provide the following documentation online prior to your event being approved:
  1. Submit a list of all vendors at the event including business name, contact name, address, and telephone number.
  2. Oklahoma Vendors. Submit copies of sales tax permits of Oklahoma vendors at the event.  Vendors must display copies of sales tax permits at the event.
  3. Out of State Vendors.  If out of state vendors will be making sales at your event, you must obtain a special event sales tax permit from the Oklahoma Tax Commission and submit a copy of the permit to the City of Tulsa.  To obtain a special event sales tax permit, please contact the Oklahoma Tax Commission Special Events Division at 918-581-2399.
  • Wrestling: If you are hosting any type of fighting and/or wrestling event, you will need to notify the Okahoma State Athletic Commission at (405) 271-9444 X57993.
  • Parks: If you are utilizing a City Park for your event, you will need a Park Permit. Please complete an online form. For River Parks, contact 918-596-2001 and for County Parks (LaFortune, Chandler) contact 918-596-5990.
  • Neighborhood Block Party: If you are organizing a daytime neighborhood block party involving a one-block residential street, you will need to contact Working in Neighborhoods (WIN) online thirty (30) days prior to the actual date of the block party. WIN will assist neighborhood block party organizers with the procedures how to access barricades, traffic control signage and other information.
  • Waste Management: You must provide adequate cleanup during and after your event. Failure to perform adequate clean-up immediately after the event each day within and around the outdoor venue including the adjacent streets, right-of-ways, alleys and parking lots and/or repair damages to city property and facilities due to your event will result in the City of Tulsa providing the services and billing the event organizer at cost recovery rates for clean-up and/or repair. Glassware is not allowed within and around the outdoor venue including the adjacent streets, sidewalks, right-of-ways, alleys and parking lots.
  • Recycling: The person responsible for a community special event should provide recycling containers throughout the venue. Following are key elements: 1. The number of recyclable containers at special events should be equal to the number of trash containers (a 1:1 ratio). 2. Recycling and trash containers should be placed next to each other in areas throughout the event venue. 3. Each recyclable container should be clearly identified as a recycling receptacle and display a list of recyclable materials accepted. 4. The event organizer can determine the types of recyclables to be collected as long as the recyclables include all aluminum and metal cans, glass (glass is prohibited on public property) and plastic bottles and jars, and all mixed paper and cardboard. 5. The event organizer must ensure that all recyclable materials are delivered to a recycling facility and not to a landfill. Please contact The M.E.T at 918-584-0584. For information go to www.metrecycle.com.
  • Portable Restrooms: You must provide portable restroom facilities at your event unless you can substantiate the sufficient availability of both accessible and non-accessible facilities in the immediate area of the event site that will be available to the public during your event (e.g. one chemical or portable toilet for every 250 people). Ten percent (10%) of restroom facilities must meet local, state, and federal accessibility requirements. No less than one (1) accessible restroom should be placed in each location designated for restrooms facilities and located on a level area not to exceed a 2% cross-slope in any direction. If a single restroom unit is placed in a location, it must be accessible. An accessible route to each portable restroom must be provided. The number of portable toilets can be determined based on your estimated peak time attendance. Your local portable sanitation service contractor's experience will help you in planning properly for any event.
  • Amplified Sound: In most cases, issuance of a Special Event Permit will serve as your approval to use amplified sound within your event venue as outlined in your permit application.
  1. Loud and unreasonable noise at any time of day or night (including music) is a violation of City Ordinance.
  2. A police officer that determines noise from your event is offensive to others may require you to lower or discontinue the noise even though you have a permit allowing such use.
  3. Generally, sound (music) levels should not exceed 85 decibels via a sound mixer technician (reading outside of venue). Depending upon any neighborhood complaints, the sound levels may have to be lowered between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Information on City of Tulsa Ordinances is available online.
  • Insurance: Any Special Event which necessitates the closing of a street or sidewalk, and any Special Event which includes the serving or consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or beer, must carry a policy of liability insurance in the amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00). Such insurance policy should be issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of Oklahoma.  A certificate of such insurance coverage, naming the City of Tulsa (175 East 2nd Street, Tulsa OK 74103) as additional insured, must be on file with the City of Tulsa before the Special Event occurs.
  • Private Property: If your event is taking place on private property, including parking lots, for any amount of time, you may need a Zoning Clearance Permit. Please contact the One-Stop-Permit Center at 918-596-9601. More information on secondary permits is available online. Your event may require approval from the City's Board of Adjustment, the exception to this rule is in the Central Business District (CBD). Upon verification with the Zoning Clearance officer, contact the Board of Adjustment (BOA) at 918-584-7526. For information go to www.cityoftulsa-boa.org.

Per the below instructions, type and complete the Special Event Permit Application using Abode Acrobat. Any omission will delay the Special Event Permit Application Process. Handwritten applications and faxes will not be processed.

  • Please download the Special Event Permit Application using Adobe Acrobat. If you have the free version of Adobe Reader, you will be able to type in the blanks on the application, but you will not be able to save your work. Print each page as you complete it and do not close your browser if you do not want to lose your work in progress. Once you have completed the application and any required attachments, print a hard copy and mail or deliver it to the City of Tulsa Office of Special Events, 175 East 2nd Street, Suite 590, Tulsa Oklahoma, 74103.
  • If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, you will be able to download the application to your computer, type in the blanks on the application, and save the information on your computer. You will not lose information that you have saved. Upon completion, you can attach the application and any required attachments via an email to the Special Events Coordinator. Your electronic submission will serve as your electronic signature.

On behalf of the City of Tulsa, we thank you for contributing to the spirit and vitality of our community through the staging of your event. Best wishes for a successful event!

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