Special Events Application Process

What Is a Special Event?

  • Special events may include, but are not limited to, short-term events such as any show, circus, concert, festival, carnival, dance open to the public, exhibition, lecture, auction, rave, boxing match, wrestling match, walk-a-thon, marathon run, cycling event, sporting event, permitted film production event, grand openings, farmers’ market, pumpkin patch, outdoor sales, including, but not limited to, vehicle sales, or any combination thereof which members of the public are invited for free or admitted for a fee.
  • A special event shall also refer to any activity that may result in the closure of any public streets or any activities which may temporarily require the installation of materials or devices using building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, flammable, or similar materials.
  • Special events are any temporary event, which is inconsistent with the permanent use of the property, not exceeding 30 days whether indoors or outdoors, on public or private property.
  • Note: Only one special event permit may be obtained every three months for any particular event site.

What Is the Application Process?

  • The process starts with the Community Services Department or Recreation Division. Recreation Division staff will act as your liaison to the Special Events Committee, assist you in obtaining the permits needed, and provide you with guidance and direction regarding the special event permit process.
  • All applications (PDF) should be submitted (with all supporting documentation) no less than 30 working days prior to the opening date of the event, in order to give ample time for review and recommendation.
  • Applications can be obtained and submitted Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at:
    Gonzales Community Center
    670 Colton Avenue
    Colton, CA 92324
  • Once received, applicants will receive a phone call confirming receipt of the application. Applications are then forwarded to the Special Event Committee for review and recommendations. The committee includes representatives from Community Services, Police, Fire, Electric, Public Works, and Development Services.
  • Depending on the scale of the proposed event, applicants may be scheduled to meet with the Special Event Committee in person. 
  • Applicants should not assume all aspects of the event will be approved, as they may be asked to make some changes based on the availability of services and the scheduling of other events. Therefore, applicants are encouraged not to make any arrangements or publicize until approval has been given by the city.