Planning a Special Event

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Current Size: 80%

The City of Harrisonburg supports special events that provide enjoyable opportunities for residents and visitors, and contribute to a vibrant, livable and sustainable city.

Special events may include fundraisers, festivals, parades, 5Ks, cycling and recreation events and/or similar gatherings on public spaces.

Venues available for special events in the City of Harrisonburg include, but are not limited to, Harrisonburg City Parks, the Turner Pavilion & Park Area, and *Court Square in downtown.

*Event organizers planning to host rallies, gatherings or events on Court Square or in the County Administrative Center parking lot will need approval from Rockingham County Department of Public Works. Event organizers can access Grounds Reservation Forms and Indemnification Forms here.  Please email Ms. Lisa Shepard at for more information.

A number of city departments are involved in the logistics necessary to produce a safe and successful community event. In an effort to simplify the application process for community organizations and event planners, the City of Harrisonburg has provided the guidelines below.

These guidelines must be met in order to ensure a positive experience for the community:

Application Process:

Download the 2024 Special Event Application Form [317KB]PDF - Contact for more information.

Organizers of all special events held within the City of Harrisonburg, both new and annual events, must complete the special events application if requesting public assistance (e.g., facility rental, police or fire support, etc.) and/or the closure of a street for any scheduled event.

  1. The completed application may be emailed to Matt Little at Applicants may call 540-433-2474 for additional information. 
  2. The application will be reviewed only if it is completed and all supporting documents are included.
  3. Event organizers may be requested to meet with City staff to review event plans, layout, and event logistics.
  4. If the application is approved by City staff, the application will be submitted to Harrisonburg City Council for their consideration.

Application Deadlines:

  • Applications for events occurring between January 1 and May 31 will be accepted no later than 90 days prior to the event.
  • Applications for events occurring between June 1 and December 31 will be accepted no later than February 23, 2024. (Contact for more information)
  • Applications for events which require the rental of the Turner Pavilion & Park but which do not require City supports (e.g. police support for alcohol service) will be accepted no later than 90 days prior to the event.

Promotional Ideas:

Here is a list of possible ideas to help promote your event to the residents of Harrisonburg and surrounding areas. 

PDF [196KB] Helpful Event Promotion Ideas