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Organizing Special Events

The Managing Director’s Office, Office of Special Events  is responsible for ensuring that all necessary permits, insurances and agreements are executed prior to any event taking place on City property. Learn more about special events.

For information on organizing a special event, please refer to the Managing Director’s Office Special Events Frequently Asked Questions.


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A Guide to Special Events with Food Vendors

Special Events are organized gatherings usually taking place out of doors. These activities include but are not limited to farmer’s markets, festivals, block parties, and street fairs. Both event organizers and event vendors must obtain permits and/or licenses to be in compliance with city regulations.

Documents You May Need

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Electrical Permit

Only a licensed Electrical Contractor can apply for an electrical permit from the City.

Amusement Devices License

As part of the City of Philadelphia’s license consolidation initiative, this license is no longer required.

Food Preparing and Serving License

This license is required of anyone operating a food establishment where food is prepared or served for public consumption. This includes restaurants, delis, caterers, bars, grocery stores making sandwiches and serving beverages, Child care facilities, etc.

Limited Occasion License for Small Games of Chance - 3 Days Only

This license is for small games of chance with prizes under $500 and is only for non-profit organizations.

Mechanical Amusement Tax

Any machine or device for amusement or entertainment which is operated by the insertion of a coin or token representing such coin, but excluding any machine or device which is operated by a sound production licensee.

Vendor Licenses

A license is required of any vendor selling from a sidewalk stand, a pushcart, a motor vehicle or by foot. In addition to the license, the City of Philadelphia Code limits or prohibits vendors from selling in certain areas.