City of Saginaw, Michigan

Special Event Applications/Planning/Information

Contact Public Services (989) 759-1662/TDD (989) 759-1447 /FAX 759-1527 or 759-1596 /FAX 759-1609

Procedures and Application

This page will help you organize a successful special event. It contains information about City services, requirements, permits and policies, a list of things to consider when staging an event, a Special Event application for requesting permission to stage an event, and a rate sheet. The application is required for use of the City parks, streets, parking lots or other public facilities for special events or festivals. Additional forms are available from the Public Services Office, 1435 S. Washington Avenue, Saginaw, Michigan, 48601.

Your completed application should be submitted to the Public Services Office which acts as a clearinghouse, routing the request, collecting responses from City departments and providing information to event sponsors. If City services are requested, your application is sent to the appropriate departments for review, comments and cost estimates. If the application is approved, the Public Services office will advise you of the approximate costs for any permits and/or services requested for your event. All costs must be paid to the City no later than 10 days in advance of the event. Submitting a Special Event Application does not guarantee that your event will be approved.

City Policy

The Public Services office must receive your Application at least 60 days in advance of the event. City Council may review applications for Class III events and must review and consider approval for all applications for Class IV events.

(Class III events are those which involve major participation by participants and/or moderate risk exposure to spectators, i.e. semi-pro sporting events, circus/carnivals, parades with floats, marathons or similar races, etc. Class IV events are those which involve severe risk exposure to spectators, i.e. rock concerts, raft race, festival, vehicle races, fireworks displays, professional & collegiate sporting events, alcoholic beverage sales, etc.). Class I and II events are events that have a minimum risk exposure for participants and spectators and may be approved by the City's administrative staff.

The City may request that the date or time of your special event be changed to facilitate coordination with City services or other activities. The City may also recommend an alternate location for the event. If changes are required, you will be notified well in advance. Your event activities are expected to respect and follow all existing rules and regulations applicable to public properties.


Insurance coverage is required in the dollar amounts established for the class of the special event. The insurance carrier must be acceptable to the City and approved by the City. A certificate of insurance must be filed with the Public Services Office no later than ten working days prior to the event. The certificate of insurance shall also include: deductible amounts, coverage exclusions, an accurate summary of the event as described in the application and it shall name the City of Saginaw as an additional insured party. Pyrotechnic displays (fireworks) require special insurance and approval.

Waivers of liability, where applicable, must be filed with the City prior to the event. The sponsor shall prohibit any entrant from participating if the entrant fails to submit a required waiver. Only those activities listed within the application are authorized and any changes must receive prior written approval from the City. Approval is automatically revoked for the event if any requirements are not fulfilled.

Things To Consider

Organizing Your Special Event/Festival

Read this "Special Events" brochure

Provide all the information requested on the Special Events Application. Describe the event activities and needs in detail; provide the attendance estimates, the proposed date and hours of the event, etc. Submit the completed application to the Public Services office no later than 60 days prior to the event.
Selecting Event Location

Is the site available on the proposed date of your event? Check with the City in advance. Will your event conflict with other events or activities? Is the proposed site large enough for your activities? Are the existing site facilities adequate for your event: restrooms, picnic tables, electricity and water, litter barrels, etc.? Are the existing parking facilities adequate? What arrangements will be planned for litter removal?

Organizing Volunteers

It's essential that you have enough volunteers to help organize and work on your special event. It's helpful to organize volunteers into planning committees directed by a chairperson. Sample committees could include: Publicity, Traffic, Signage, Parking, First Aid, Finance, Entertainment, Food, Refreshments, Clean-up, etc. Contact established festival and volunteer organizations and clubs for information about recruiting volunteers.


Special events/festivals frequently require permits, licenses and insurances from the City, County and State. It is important to apply for these requirements in a timely manner. Contact the agencies which will require a permit, license or insurance well in advance of your event. Failure to secure a permit, license or insurance will jeopardize your event.

Key City Parks Rules and Regulations

No intoxicants allowed. No camping or campfires. No digging, and all animals must be leashed. No signage, including banners, may be attached to trees, existing signage, buildings or facilities. Motor vehicles are permitted only on paved roads or designated areas. Cooking is permitted only in barbecue grills in designated areas. Cutting or removal of wood or flora is prohibited. Loud playing of any instrument or device is prohibited. Acts causing a Breach of the Peace are prohibited. A Public Safety officer may request any person to leave for cause.

Important Planning Reminders

  • Special Parks Facilities: Special permits are required for the use of certain Parks facilities and associated services, such as the Ojibway Island Complex (stage, dressing rooms, restrooms, and concession area); the Hoyt Park Complex (warming housing, restrooms, athletic fields); park shelters located in Bliss, Fordney, and Rust Street Boat Launches.
  • Motor Vehicles: Event organizers must provide the necessary controls to insure that all motor vehicles are restricted from travel on grass areas in City Parks, except for delivery of program materials in support of the event. Vehicular traffic will not be allowed on lawn areas, for any reason, if obvious turf damage will result.
  • Parades/Use of City Streets: Parade sponsors must submit a detailed map of the proposed parade route to the Public Services office. No signage changes will be allowed without the approval of the City Engineer. All costs for street barricading and traffic detouring must be paid by the sponsor. If a parade or event requires the use of State Trunkline Highways, an additional permit must be obtained from the Michigan Department of Transportation located at 55 Morley Drive, Saginaw, Michigan.
  • Parking: The event organizer is also responsible for the organization of parking at the event site. Vehicles must be confined to available hard surfaced areas, drives and lots, unless otherwise approved by the City. The City reserves the right to designate and organize parking areas and to collect fees for parking, in order to resolve parking problems and to protect City properties.
  • Signage: Proper stanchions or portable apparatus must be provided for signage and banners. No signage may be attached to trees, existing signage, buildings or facilities in any manner on the park site or in any public street without the City's approval.
  • Miscellaneous Supplies and Equipment: The City does not maintain an inventory of supplies and equipment for the use of special events. It's the responsibility of the event organizer to provide for these miscellaneous needs which frequently include ... tents and canopies, chairs and tables, coffee pots, sound systems, bull horns, portable staging, extension cords, hoses, trash bags, and janitorial supplies, signs, traffic cones and barricades. Local rental businesses can frequently supply these needs.
  • Trash: Event organizers are responsible for the removal of all trash and debris related to the special event. For events attracting a large number of individuals, it is recommended that trash removal services be contracted with a private vendor.
  • Clean-up: Upon completion of the special event, the site must be returned to the same condition as was prior to the event. All equipment brought to the site, in support of the event, must be immediately removed.
  • Damages: Event organizers are responsible for the repair of all damages to grounds, buildings and other facilities, which occur as a result of the event. Damage and litter deposits may be required by the City and must be paid in advance of the event. These deposits are refundable following the event, providing no damages occur and all litter is removed.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Consumption of alcoholic beverages on any public property is prohibited.
  • Concessions: The sale of goods, service or food-stuffs is not allowed, except as approved by the City. Vendors are required to apply for a merchant and/or food vendor license through the City Clerk's office. On-site preparation and distribution of food and drinks requires a license from the County Health Department. The location of food preparation and eating areas in City Parks must be approved by the County Health Department and the City. It should be understood and agreed by the event sponsor that the rights and privileges of certain services contracted by the City, such as professional concessioners, must be honored at the event site.
  • Tents and Structures: If your special event requires the use of tents, food booths or temporary structures, you must specifically state the type of structure, size, use and the proposed location in the Special Events Application. Tents and structures must conform to specific regulations and must be inspected and approved by the appropriate City officials. The location of tents must also be approved by City officials to insure that damage will not occur to pavements, lawns, plant materials and underground utilities. A Fire & Life Safety Inspection will also be conducted by the Fire Marshall.
  • Electrical/Water Systems: Access to these services are supplied on request. The cost of providing special electrical or water services must be paid by the event sponsor. You must also supply your own extension cords and hoses.
  • Sanitary Facilities: Restroom facilities may be required by the County Health Department depending upon the size and type of festival or event. The location of restroom facilities must be approved by the City and by the County Health Department. The organizer/sponsor is responsible for making arrangements for additional facilities, if required.

Community Resources for Additional Information

  • Security, Crowd Control City Police Department (989) 759-1288
  • Permits to use State Trunklines Michigan Department of Transportation (989) 754-7443
  • Food and Sanitary Service Information/Education/Licenses Saginaw County Health Department (989) 771-0830
  • Volunteer References for Non-Profit/Non-Political Events Voluntary Action Center (989) 755-2822
  • Medical Support/First Aid Saginaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross (989) 754-8181
  • Tent Permits, Merchant and/or Food Vendor License, Fireworks Display City of Saginaw Clerk's Office (989) 759-1480