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A Special Event is a temporary use in all zoning districts which:
  • Is intended for purposes of entertainment, education, commercial promotion, or cultural, religious, ethnic, or political expression. 
  • Is conducted on public or private property on a site or in an area which may not be specifically zoned, authorized, or otherwise approved for such use on a permanent basis.
  • Is carried on in a temporary structure, or outside.
  • May occur in conjunction with an existing permitted use or as a separate activity.
  • Included events are parades, sporting events, circuses, fairs, carnivals, festivals, religious revivals, political rallies, vehicle shows and displays, and similar recognized temporary activities.
  • Shall not include wedding and funeral ceremonies, holiday boutiques, elections, private yard sales, Christmas tree and pumpkin sales lots, and charity car washes.


Deadlines & Application

The application process time can take from 30 to 90 days depending upon the scope of the event. Large events, especially those involving road closures and/or alcohol will require additional time, so please plan accordingly.

Please be sure you apply early.  Our recommendation is to apply prior to doing any advertising for the event.  

Please complete the application, site plan and appropriate attachments.   Answer each question with as much detail as possible (below documents in PDF format)

Special Event Liquor License

A Special Event Liquor License allows a charitable, civic, fraternal, political or religious organization to sell and serve spirituous liquor for consumption only on the premises where the spirituous liquor is sold, and only for the period authorized on the license.  This is a temporary license.  The qualifying organization must receive at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the gross revenues of the special events.

The applicant must complete and submit the following to the City:

Various City departments will review the application.  Upon approval from the various departments, the City Council will review the event and make a recommendation of approval or denial.  Upon approval by the City Council, the application must be taken to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control for their approval.  Plan on a minimum of 60 days to complete this process.

Extension of Premises

An Extension of Premises is an extension of the existing area occupied by a current licensee and can be either permanent or temporary.  There is no fee involved with the Extension of Premises.

The applicant must complete and submit the following to the City:

Various City departments will review the application.  Upon approval by the City, the application must be taken to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control for their approval.

Fees

Fees for a special event are $100.00 per day with a maximum fee of $300.00.  All fees are non-refundable.  

If an event is going to be for more than 4 days or if more than 4 events will be conducted on the same premises during a calendar year,  you must obtain a Special Use Permit. [PDF]

If your event requires a tent larger than 400 square feet or a canopy larger than 1200 square feet there may be additional fees involved.  Please contact Fire Prevention at 480.644.2622 for more information.

Insurance

Insurance may be required for your event. The insurance policy must list the City of Mesa as additional insured. The amount required varies depending on the type of event and activities involved. The insurance certificate must be on file with the Licensing Office and approved by the Risk Management Office prior to approval of the special event.