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Temporary Events, Festivals, Carnivals

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.

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.

Special Permit License

This license is available to Non Profit Organizations for small games of chance that have an award or prize over $500.

Temporary Business Income and Receipts Tax and Commercial Activity License

Businesses that will be selling at a special event, trade show or festival and will be doing business for 10 or fewer days are required to register their business with the City of Philadelphia and remit applicable taxes.

Documents You May Need

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Carnival License

Required of anyone holding or conducting any moving, temporary show where a charge is made for admission or participation, whether held in a building, tent, enclosure or lot, and where following forms of amusement or entertainment are conducted: riding devices, illusion shows, mechanical shows, active games of skill or games of a like character.

Amusement Tax

This tax is imposed on the admission fee charged for attending any amusement in Philadelphia. Included are concerts, movies, athletic contests, night clubs and convention shows for which admission is charged.

Farmers Market Registration

This license is required of any person who organizes, manages and operates a farmers' market where growers and producers of horticultural, agricultural, baked goods or handmade products sell those products directly to the public on designated days and times in a designated Farmers Market.

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.