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Special Events / Block Parties
The newly adopted Special Event Ordinance is effective for events occurring on or after January 1, 2018.

What is a Special Event?

Generally, a Special Event in the City of Wauwatosa is any block party, street festival, run/walk or parade. In the City ordinance 7.50 it is defined as:

A temporary gathering of people on public or private property and involving at least one of the circumstances listed below.

  • Will involve the closing and exclusive use of a public street, alley, or public right of way;
  • Over 250 people at any one time attending the event on private property, except those situations where a constitutional right is being expressed - marches and public assemblies;
  • City ordinances and rules require public safety support by City employees;
  • Will require Extraordinary Services by any City Department;
  • Hours of the event extend beyond those otherwise adopted in City ordinances; or,
  • Alcohol, beverages, food, and/or merchandise will be offered for purchase.

Based on this explanation and definition if there is uncertainty about whether or not an event is a "Special Event," please call the Wauwatosa Police Department, Community Support Division, at 414-479-8478.

Special Event Process

 To understand the Special Event process, please see the following process map.

Things to Know

  • Main Point of Contact: Wauwatosa Police Department, Community Support Division
  • Permit Filling: Special Event permits and the application fee should be filed with the City Clerk’s Office.
    • Special Event permit application fee of $125. Block Party events are exempt from the application fee. During the internal review process there may be Extraordinary Service charges identified due to the event, i.e., measureable financial cost to service the event that go beyond normal levels of service on a nonevent day.
  • Application Submittal: Do not submit more than one (1) year before an event, and no less than 45 days prior to an event.  
  • Hours of Operation: Special Events can be open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.
  • Parking Plan: Application should identify an area(s) to be utilized by event participants.
  • Notification: Special Event organizers are required to provide reasonable advance notice to property owners, residents and/or businesses.
  • Routes for Event: For parades and run/walks there are specific routes to choose from.
  • Insurance: Special Event organizers are required to obtain a policy of insurance.

Information for Permit Process

If there are any questions, please do not hestitate to call the Wauwatosa Police Department, Community Support Division at 414-479-8478.

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