Special Event / Block Party Permit

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - April 30, 2020

Gilroy City Hall is currently closed in compliance with the Santa Clara County Shelter In Place Order issued March 31, 2020. During this time, staffing and services are limited to essential services, including public safety and those needed to maintain critical City infrastructure. Per the County Order, the City is cancelling all Special Events Permits through May 31, 2020. Staff will continually monitor directives from local, regional, state and federal authorities and may extend cancellation timeframes as necessary.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the order from the Health Officer of the County requires that all individuals currently living within the County to shelter at their place of residence. The Order also prohibits all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit. In compliance with the County order, the City of Gilroy has also closed all recreational facilities including areas with high-touch equipment or that encourage gathering, including, but not limited to playgrounds, picnic areas and barbecue areas.

If you have an approved or pending Special Event Permit and wish to reschedule your event, please call (408) 846-0451. If you currently have an event scheduled that also required a Park or Facility Reservation, please contact the Recreation Department (408) 846-0460.

For more information, visit the County Public Health website.

Special Event & Block Party Permits are issued by the Community Development Department after review by multiple City Departments. The Special Event Permit is required for activities such as parades, street fairs, block parties, rallies, and other events that require closures of City streets, sidewalks or other facilities, or may have an impact on the provision of City services beyond the normal day-to-day level. Permit applications must be submitted 30 days in advance and will be accepted no earlier than 6 months in advance. For more information or to schedule a pre-application meeting, contact Christina Ruiz at (408) 846-0269 or via email to Christina.Ruiz@cityofgilroy.org 


Any large scale meeting, concert, live music, assembly, fundraiser, blocking of streets, parade or procession, or use of sound amplifying system of any kind or any other similar display constitutes a Special Event and requires a SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT. A SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT needs to be applied for least 30 days prior to an event.

A PRIVATE EVENT means that guests are invited or are part of a club/organization, and attendance is limited to those invited or part of the club or organization, whether the event is free or a fee is collected.

PUBLIC EVENT means that the event is open to anyone passing by, whether paying to get in or free.

PUBLIC PROPERTY means a City street, alley, park, City owned building, or City owned lot. Public School sites are not owned or operated by the City of Gilroy. Contact GUSD offices at 8710 Arroyo Circle for their use requirements/application.

PRIVATE PROPERTY means, schools, churches, business locations, apartments, vacant or undeveloped property. (Any property Not City owned). A permission letter or contract from a private property owner or owner’s representative is required for events not on your own property.

BLOCK PARTY is an event where a group of homes wants to have traffic restricted on their street during a group event. No fixtures may be placed in the street, and a Special Event Permit is needed.

ADDITIONAL City Council approval is required for any amusement rides, carnival, circus, fair, or menagerie 30 days prior to the event. Contact the City Clerk to get on a Council Agenda. A completed and reviewed application will be required by the City Clerk. Temporary Car Sales require a Conditional Use Permit, contact the City Planning Office.


  1. Obtain the Special Event Application Form.
  2. If renting a City Park or Building, go to the Recreation Department, Park & Facility Rentals  first and process a reservation.
  3. Complete the Special Event Application Form. Complete pages 1 and 2, sign page 4 and 5 if applicable, and attach a site plan. Include a traffic control plan and neighborhood notification plan if blocking streets. If you are using any Public Property a Certificate of Insurance naming the City of Gilroy as also insured, including an Endorsement page, must be provided.
  4. Turn in the form 30 days prior to the event at the Building Permit Counter at City Hall.
  5. If there is additional information requested or the application was found incomplete you will be contacted and asked to make the application complete. If the application was approved you will be emailed or contacted to pay any fees and/or provide any additional documents such as a Temporary Health Permit, ABC License, Business License, etc.
  6. For final processing, pay any fees due to Finance Department and notify Christina Ruiz of payment completion. You may pick up the Final Special Event Permit at the Building Permit Counter or receive a copy via email.

ANY PUBLIC event that sells or distributes food shall follow the County Department of Health Food Safety Requirements and obtain permits from them as required. Call County of Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health at 408-918-3400 for temporary event food permitting information.


Park & Facility Use  
  • Application for use of a Park or City Facility must be applied for separately through the Recreation Department for Park & Facility Rental. Separate fees may apply. Application for facility rental AND special event permit application must be submitted at the same time.
  • Event Holders are allowed to utilize only those areas that were approved through the permit application. Unauthorized use of additional streets, sidewalks, and areas will result in additional forfeiture of security/damage deposit and or possible forfeiture of future City facility /park usage.
  • Agreement for use of parks, streets, sidewalks and /or facilities shall be on an as-is and as-equipped basis.
  • Glass, including wine bottles is not allowed in City parks at any time.
  • The permit holder is responsible to return public grounds and facilities to pre-event conditions and ensure return of all equipment.
  • Each park in which an event occurs shall remain open to the public during the event to the extent consistent with the park’s capacity and to the maximum extent feasible given the nature of the event. No park, trails or other public access area shall be closed to the public during an event, unless specifically authorized pursuant to a permit issued. 

Food & Alcohol

  • Alcohol consumption in a designated City Park required a separate permit. Application needs to be submitted with park rental application.
  • Prior to the event, all users proposing to sell or give away food items must submit proof of compliance with the regulations of the County of Santa Clara, Department of Environmental Health. They can be reached at (408) 918-3400 or online at www.sccgov.org.
  • Prior to event, all users proposing to sell alcoholic beverages must submit proof of compliance with the regulation of the Alcoholic Beverage Control, Santa Clara County. They can be reached at (408) 277-1200 or online at www.abc.ca.gov.
  • All event holders who must obtain an ABC License must contact the Gilroy Police Department to receive approval on the ABC License.
  • All persons engaged in or assisting with the sales or service of alcoholic beverages (regardless of whether they are stationed inside the sales booth or not) should complete an approved course on Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) or LEAD (ABC certified) prior to working in the alcoholic sales booth. RBS/LEAD certification is valid for three years from the date of training or as indicated on the certification card.
  • Food preparation and service including cooking or barbecues in City parks and facilities is subject to approval and additional requirements. 

Sales – Food or Merchandise 

  • Any person or organization, including a non-profit organization, who is selling food or merchandise at a special event, must have a business license. Depending on the nature of your event, the type of license may vary. Please call the City of Gilroy Finance Department at (408) 846-0420 for more information. 

Waste Diversion - Recycling 

  • All events are required to provide waste diversion (garbage) and recycling services. Please contact Gilroy Fire Marshal, Miguel Trujillo for Waste & Recycling Program at (408) 846-0257 or email Miguel.Trujillo@cityofgilroy.org.


  • Insurance is required for all Special Events on city property. Event Holder will provide a minimum Certificate of Insurance with a CG2026 Specific Endorsement (or other like /replacement form) – the certificate and specific endorsement both need to name the: City of Gilroy, its officers, representatives, agents, and employees as additional insured. The minimum general liability coverage level is $1,000,000.00 for any events occurring in city parks, on city streets, one city sidewalks, on city parking lots, or taking place in any city facility. In most cases for Residential Block Parties an Insurance/Endorsement is not required; however, due to some activities/conditions, one may be requested.
  • Users proposing to sell or serve alcohol beverages at events open to the public must also submit a Certificate of Public Liability and Host Liquor Liability in the amount of $1,000,000 naming the City as additional insured see above.