Thank you for choosing Metro Parks Tacoma for your upcoming special event.

Special use permits are issued for special events, filming/photography, and commercial activities.

About Special Use Permits

  • Permitting Alert
  • When is a Special Use Permit needed?
  • Permitting notice for Point Defiance Park
  • Green Events


2020 Special Use Permit Applications will not be made available until January 2020. Please check back to this site in January 2020. If you have questions, please contact us at (253) 305-1006 or

A “Special Use” is an activity in a public park that includes:

  • A public gathering of 50 or more people
  • Tent(s) 400’ sq. ft. or larger (may require Tacoma Fire Dept. permit)
  • Amplified sound
  • Stage(s)
  • Vendor booths (food, beverage, arts, crafts)
  • Generator(s)
  • Public promotion of the organized use/activity
  • Collection of money for admission/participation (whether off-site or on-site)
  • Impact to regular traffic & park operations
  • Catered activities by food trucks, commercial bbqs (may require Health Dept. permit)
  • **Bounce houses (subject to certain conditions due to public safety)
  • Commercial Activities
  • Filming and/or Photography

Including but not limited to:

  • Festivals/Concerts
  • Walks/Runs/Cycling
  • Corporate Picnics
  • Athletic Tournaments
  • Free Speech/Demonstration
  • Other – those uses/activities that impact regular park operations or adversely impact normal park usage
  • Commercial Activities
  • Filming and/or Photography

** Bounce houses are not permitted unless they are:
(1) Provided by a professional bounce house/entertainment equipment company; and,
(2) a certificate of insurance is provided by the professional company listing Metro Parks Tacoma as additional insured.

Permitting notice for Point Defiance Park

Due to Point Defiance Park improvement projects there are traffic detours in place and limited access to parking. If you’re planning a festival, event, walk or run in the park, please encourage your guests and participants to carpool and allow extra arrival time.

Visit for detour and parking updates, plus detailed project descriptions.

Because so many improvements are underway, Metro Parks Tacoma cannot guarantee issuance of permits or changes to permits once they have been issued. Members of Metro Parks’ rentals, permits and visitor services staff will do their best to work with you. Thank you for your patience.

Green Event Application
Green Event applications must be received no less than 60 days before the event date.

Events that achieve Green Excellence certification may be eligible for Environmental Services Event Support. This can include free or discount services such as garbage, recycling, food waste bins, and/or portable toilets. You will receive the optional Environmental Services Event Support request form via email only after your event has achieved Green Excellence certification.

Environmental Services support requests must be received no less than 30 days before the event date.