Host a Special Event

Special Event

The City of Waterloo requires a Special Event Application any time an event or its related components are located inside the Waterloo municipal boundary and include the use of:

  • Blocking Off Public streets;
  • Public rights-of-way;
  • Public parks and City-owned property;
  • Parking in a “No Parking Zone”
  • Outdoor private property when the property is part of a special event venue that includes City public property (e.g. a private property used as a parking lot for part of a festival event where City property is used during the event); and

Some examples of special events may include:

  • Festivals;
  • Parades;
  • Runs/walks; and
  • Other events that meet the criteria listed above.

Additional, specific event types include:

  • Parades, Races, and Walks are organized activities following a set course that involve full or partial closure of City streets, sidewalks, or greenways. All application must include a map of the route and indication of barricades.
  • General Events are organized activities that have a stationary footprint requiring the closure of roads or public squares or plazas, often involving amplified noise, food, beverage, merchandise, or other forms of entertainment. Examples include festivals, markets, and ceremonies. All application must include a map of barricade location.
  • Neighborhood Block Parties are small-scale organized activities that close local-service residential streets or other public place often organized by the people living in the neighborhood. Block parties are a traditional way for neighbors to come together and socialize. They are beneficial in promoting good will, cooperation, awareness, and safety in the neighborhood, and therefore the City of Waterloo encourages residents to hold block parties. 

Planning a block party requires the support of all those who reside on the block within the area that will be closed. Included with the enclosed application is a neighborhood approval petition. On the application you will need to notify your neighbors that live on the streets of the street closure. There is a petition for them to sign off on that they are aware that access to their property may be limited during your event.

The applicant must reside on the block and is responsible for the event, which includes setup and take-down of the barricades, cleanup of the public right-of-way following the event, and maintaining a clear lane for emergency vehicles. All application must include a map of barricade location.  Main thoroughfares are not closed for block parties.

Please note:

Protests, demonstrations, candlelight vigils or rallies are considered First Amendment rights; therefore, a Special Event Application may not be needed for these types of events. Organizers are asked to contact the Mayor’s Office at (319) 291-4301 to verify no events are scheduled in the areas where protests are being planned — and to ensure proper City departments are notified of the event.

Application & Deadlines

Individuals, organizations and businesses hosting Special Events MUST submit an application for a Special Event at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the event.  This will allow time for the review and approval process by the Mayor’s Office, Public Works, Fire Department and Police Department. 

Email:   mayor@waterloo-ia.org
Phone: 319-291-4301
Mail:     Mayor's Office 
                ATTN: Special Event Application
                715 Mulberry Street
                Waterloo, IA 50703

 Click here to view and print off the guideline

Click here to view and print off an application packet.


Will you need a noise variance?

The City Clerk’s office issues many types of permits and licenses. If you event will be using any amplifiers, loudspeakers or any other similar device, which shall in any degree magnify the human voice or any other sound, a permit is needed.

An application can be picked up at the Mayor’s office or click here to print one off at your home. Applications need to be turned in at least 30 days before the event.

For more information about Noise Variance click here.


Away at Lunch Application