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Special Event Frequently Asked Questions
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Special Event Tips to Remember

What is actually classified as a special event?
Any activity that involves:

  • More than a small gathering
  • A fundraiser (NOTE: Solicitation is not permitted in City parks.)
  • Any form of media presence

Can I have a wedding in a park?
Yes, but we do have regulations regarding this matter:

  • Parks are open to all citizens, so a park may never be closed off to the public for a special event. Buildings and shelters may be rented for private use, please call 311 to reserve a shelter or building.
  • All park rules apply to special events, including no alcohol, no motorized vehicles, no fireworks/firearms, and no amplified music (per the Chapter 18 City Noise Ordinance).
  • All parks close at dark.
  • Some popular locations to hold weddings/receptions are:
  1. Adair Park (North Knoxville)
  2. Holston River Park (East Knoxville)
  3. Krutch Park (Downtown Knoxville)
  4. Sequoyah Hills Park (West Knoxville)
  5. Talahi Park (West Knoxville)
  6. Victor Ashe Park (North Knoxville)
  7. West Hills Park (West Knoxville)
  • If you plan to have a wedding/reception in a park, please e-mail jsimerly@cityofknoxville.org with contact information, park, date, and anticipated attendance so that we can be aware of your event.

How do I reserve my event?

  • Call 311 or e-mail jsimerly@cityofknoxville.org and have prepared the date and location you would like for your special event, the anticipated number, and what activities will be held at your special event. No dates are guaranteed until the reservation has been verified.
  • Once your event has been reserved, please have your insurance agency fax proof of an insurance liability policy in the amount of $1,000,000, with the City of Knoxville listed as rider, to 865-215-2408.

Is there a fee for a special event?

  • There is no charge for the general use of a City park. However, there is a fee for the use of a specific facility (i.e. buildings, pools, shelters, and athletic facilities). For building and shelter reservations, please call 3-1-1. To reserve an athletic facility, please call 865-215-1418. To reserve a pool, please call 865-215-1406.
  • Additional services, such as additional portable restrooms, electricity, and security, will be at the special event party’s expense.

Can I have vendors at my event?
Yes, but the City requires that they have three documents on them at the event:

  • Vendor License Permit, which can be obtained by the organization conducting the event.
  • Health Permit, which can be obtained through the Knox County Health Department at 865-215-5200.
  • Written letter of approval from the City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department, please e-mail jsimerly@cityofknoxville.org with contact information, explanation of your product/booth, and date and location of special event you are attending.

Can we close the park or charge admission for our special event?
Parks are intended for general public use (with the exception of shelters, buildings, pools, and athletic facilities) and therefore, the closing of any parks or the charging for admission in any park is not permitted. For building and shelter reservations, please call 311. To reserve an athletic facility, please call 865-215-1418. To reserve a pool, please call 865-215-1406.

Will we be allowed to have music at our special event?
Per the Chapter 18 City Noise Ordinance, no amplified music is permitted in parks that are located in or near a residential area.

Does the park I have reserved have electricity or water access?
Some parks do have electricity. Call 311 or do a physical walk-through of the park to determine if your special event’s park has electricity or running water. Shelters that provide these services to not incur any additional fees.

Can I put up signs at the park for my event?
Signs that can be displayed in a manner that is not damaging to the park or other City property may be displayed the day of the event. No signs are permitted prior to the day of the event.

Can we have inflatables at our event?
Due to high risk, inflatables are not permitted in City parks.

The trashcans at the park where I’m holding my event seem full. What can the City do about this?
Trashcans are emptied based on a regular schedule set by the frequency of usage of each individual park. The City recommends that all event holders bring their own extra trashcans and extra trash bags. As trash cans fill during your event, the bags can be tied off and placed next to the City trashcans. The bags will be collected the business day following the event.

The grass seems tall at the park where I’m holding my event. Will it be mowed for my event?
All City parks are mowed on a regular two-week schedule. You may contact Mike Harriss at 865-215-2018 to request additional mowing on rare occasions.

Can I set up a tent at my event?
Personal tents may be permitted after receiving prior permission by e-mailing jsimerly@cityofknoxville.org . Tents are not permitted in athletic fields or landscaping. Maximum tent sizes permitted in City parks may not exceed 15’x15’.

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