Special Events Permit

"Special Event"


  1. Special Event. A temporary gathering of people on public or private property and involving at least one (1) of the circumstances listed below. The City Administrator, or their designee, shall have the exclusive authority to determine whether or not an event meets the criteria to be considered a Special Event.
  2. Criteria for Special Events.
    1. Exclusive use of all or part of waterways, or City-owned facilities, within the City boundaries such as buildings, parks, open spaces, streets, parking lots, athletic fields, etc., but does not include normal park shelter rentals or OMNI Center rentals;
    2. Will involve the temporary closing of a public street, alley, or public right of way;
    3. Over three hundred (300) people attending the event (or multiple events as part of a series) on private property, except those situations meeting the definition of a “public assembly”, (defined under sec. 7.05.22.C of the City of Onalaska Code of Ordinances);
    4. Temporary installation or construction of structures, including but not limited to tents, stages, etc.;
    5. Need public safety support by City Departments;
    6. Will require Extraordinary Services by any City Department;
    7. Hours of the event extend beyond those otherwise allowed in City ordinances; or,
    8. Alcohol, beverages, food, and/or merchandise will be offered for purchase.
  3. Examples of Special Events. Examples include, but are not limited to, activities such as running/jogging/walking events, boat, bicycle, running or road races and other forms of competition and athletic events, music, theater, film performances or concerts, water ski demonstrations, air shows, carnivals, equipment shows, cultural events such as art fairs, antique shows, religious services, parties, and other gatherings meeting the above criteria. A Special Event is not intended to include events such as a family gathering; non-profit organization, business, or company picnic; or other similar events unless other criteria listed above apply.



Each application must be accompanied by a Certificate of Insurance as outlined in the application with the City of Onalaska listed as insured.

Special Events  -   price varies depending upon the number of participants.

0-300                        Participants          $25
301-999                    Participants          $50
Over 1000                 Participants          $100

Multi Day Events or Series Events:         $25 (in addition to base fee)

*Extraordinary Services will be billed for items like barricades, traffic control, resources or services

*For events with 750+ people, it is within the City's discretion to require a deposit towards extraordinary services