Carly Cortright

New Special Events Application Aims to Improve Process

Carly Cortright, Office of Neighborhood Services Director, 509.625.6263

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 11:21 a.m.

New Special Events Application Aims to Improve Process

Updated March 3, 2023

The City of Spokane has a long history of being a community that celebrates and embraces special events.

Whether it’s the world’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Hoopfest, or the nation’s largest Armed Forces torchlight parade in the Lilac Parade, or making our mark as hosting one of the largest time foot races in Bloomsday, we have made our mark for hosting events that spotlight Spokane.

We now have an event application process to match the pageantry of our many special events that will make it easier for sponsors to apply for their permit and for City staff to quickly process.

In 2019, we rolled out a new paper-based application with the promise it would be temporary as we explored an online solution that would streamline the process. A global pandemic might have delayed the release of this solution, but we believe it was worth the wait. Applicants will now apply fully online and only be prompted for additional information should it be required.

For example, if you are planning a small block party, with the old paper application, you would often have to list N/A for several questions as they were not relevant to your event. For other larger events, additional permits may be needed from the Fire Department or Development Services Center, and that was sometimes overlooked in the fine print. The new solution is responsive and only displays questions if they are relevant to your event. If your event won’t have an open flame, for example, you’ll move right along to the next question. But if you will have an open flame, a series of additional questions will need to be answered.

This responsive system will speed up the application process on the applicant’s end and will also provide places to upload documents, such as the certificate of insurance. Once submitted, the application will be instantly routed for approval. With everything in one location, this will also speed up the approval process as staff won’t have to assemble and enter the documents for review. The new system will also provide you updates. If we need clarification on an element of your application, you’ll receive an email from us. If everything looks good, you will receive an email notifying you your event has been conditionally approved. View the special events application how-to video below.

Special Event Application How-to Video

We believe these improvements are going to make it as easy as possible to apply for permits so event sponsors can spend more time focused on putting the event together rather than dealing with the hassle of paperwork. Learn more about the new application process. Visit our permits page for more information about the application process and whether a permit is even needed.

We look forward to hosting your next event!

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