Who Needs a Special Event Permit?
Any business or organization is required to obtain a permit for any event that is open to the general public and is not part of a business’s or organization’s daily activities.
What is the Special Event Permit Process?
Types of Permits
There are two classifications of special events: Tier I and Tier II events.
Tier I events are any temporary event which causes significant impact on traffic flow, Town facilities, or Town services. Examples include, but are not limited to, walk/run races, parades, street festivals, and any large gatherings of over 400 people.
Tier II events are any temporary event that does not qualify as a Tier I, but is open to the general public and is not part of a business’s or organization’s daily activities. Examples include, but are not limited to, tent sales, food truck rodeos, business/organizational promotional events with temporary structures, and outdoor children’s events with bounce houses and/or water slides.
Time Limit Restrictions
Both Tier I and Tier II events cannot exceed a collective total of 20 days or four weekends (Saturday and Sunday) within any calendar year, except where the site is publicly-owned property and used for events sponsored by the Town for the enjoyment or enrichment of its citizens.
Application Submittal Deadlines and Fees
Tier I Submittal Items
- Completed Special Event Permit Application available here.
- $100 non-refundable application fee with completed Fee Schedule. Fee payments can be made by phone at 919-463-6187 or in person at 260-B Town Hall Drive, Morrisville, NC.
- Must submit application 60 days in advance of the planned event. Late application submittals may be accepted with additional $250 fee. (effective July 1, 2017)
- Completed Special Event Submittal Checklist available here.
- Diagram of the event layout and route map if there is a course component such as run/walk race, parade, religious procession, etc. Include information on any temporary structures such as tents, stages, bounce houses, etc.
- Proof of notification to adjoining property owners of the event. Course events must place temporary signs at each end of the proposed route. Signs must be between 3 and 6 square feet in size. The date, time, and name of the event must be included on the signs. Signs must be erected 7 days prior to the event, and removed 24 hours after the event.
- Applicant must attend an in-person coordination meeting with Town staff prior to permit issuance.
Tier II Submittal Items
- Completed Special Event Permit Application available here
- $25 non-refundable application fee with completed Fee Schedule. Fee payments can be made by phone at 919-463-6187 or in person at 260-B Town Hall Drive, Morrisville, NC
- Must submit application 7 days in advance of planned event. Late application submittals may be accepted with additional $50 fee (effective July 1, 2017).
- Completed Special Event Submittal Checklist available here.
- Diagram of the event layout. Identify any temporary structures such as tents, stages, bounce houses, etc.
- Proof of notification to adjoining property owners of the event
Use of Town Facilities
If the event organizer wishes to reserve space at a Town recreational facility or park, please contact the Morrisville Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Resources Department at 919-463-7110 for facility availability and fee information.
Events using Town property are required to secure an insurance policy for the event that includes the Town of Morrisville as additional insured with limits determined by the Town’s Safety & Risk Manager. The event organizers (primary and/or secondary) shall purchase and maintain this insurance, providing coverage for the event with an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of North Carolina.
Off-Duty Officers and Traffic Control
Off-duty officers may be required by the Town for crowd, noise, and traffic management. For officer availability and fee information, please contact the Morrisville Police Department at 919-463-1600.
Permission from NCDOT must be obtained 90-days prior to any proposed road closings on NCDOT-maintained roads. The event organizer is responsible for obtaining this permission. Please call NCDOT customer service at 1-877-368-4968 for more information. To verify if a proposed road closure involves NCDOT-maintained roads, please contact the Morrisville Transportation Planner at 919-463-6927.
Road cones are available for events. Please contact 919-463-7075 for reservations. The event organizer is responsible for setting up these cones prior to your event and returning them to the Town of Morrisville Public Works Yard afterwards. Town of Morrisville Public Works Yard is located at 414 Aviation Pkwy, Morrisville, NC 27560.
If the event includes the sell or preparation of food, a Temporary Food Establishment Permit from the Wake County Environmental Services (WCES) may be required. The organizer is solely responsible for submitting applications on behalf of any food vendors they are allowing at their event.
All food trucks operating within the Morrisville Town limits must obtain a food truck permit. For more information about food truck permits and associated fees, please contact the Town of Morrisville Code Enforcement Officer at 919-463-6198.
If the event includes the distribution of alcohol, a permit from the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) must be obtained. ABC alcohol permit requirements are available on the ABC website or by phone at 919-779-0700. Event organizers are responsible for all aspects of their alcohol permit and should ensure that patrons are in compliance with relevant policies.
Open-air tents exceeding 700 square feet (400 square feet for closed tents) require an inspection by the Fire Marshal prior to any event. Other temporary structures such as bounce houses, amusement rides, water slides, and stages may also require inspection prior to an event. For inspection appointment and fee information, please contact the Morrisville Fire Department at 919-463-6122.
A maximum of six temporary directional signs are permitted for a special event. Temporary directional signs must be installed within 24 hours of an event start time and must be removed within 24 hours of an event end time. Signs must be between 3 and 6 sq.ft. in size. The date, time, and name of the event must be included on the signs. Signs must be erected 7 days prior to the event and removed 24 hours after the event. For more information about temporary sign permits and associated fees, please contact the Town’s Code Enforcement Officer at 919-463-6198.
Other Required Permits
Additional permits are required for alcohol distribution, food preparation and sales, food trucks, pyrotechnic displays, signage, and temporary structures.
Looking for a quick reference guide? Download the Special Event Permit brochure.