Amusement License



Amusement License

Issued by: License Commission

Governed By: Massachusetts General Law ch. 140 sec. 181

Process Length: The approval process varies. It can take from one week to two months depending on whether the event will occur on public or private property, and on the size and complexity of the event.

Fee: $5 per game and ride per day. Cash (only) payments must be made at the City Treasurer's office, check can be accepted in our office.

Notes: An instructional brochure on holding a special event in Cambridge is available at the License Commission office or by calling 617.349.6140. Companies not licensed previously in Cambridge must first attend a hearing and receive the Commission’s permission to operate a carnival/festival. Games of chance and gambling are not allowed in Cambridge.


Step 1:

If the event is to be held on public property, the applicant must submit a letter of intent to the City Manager’s Office describing the event including: date, duration, size, and location. The applicant will then meet with the City’s Special Events Committee at least one month prior to the event (longer if holding the event for the first time in Cambridge) to discuss the logistics of the event and to clarify what additional permits and licenses will be needed.

Step 2:

EVENT PREMISE: If the event is to be held on private property, the applicant must obtain a letter of permission for use of the site from the event premises. The letter should clearly state the date, duration, size, and reason(s) for the event. This letter of permission needs to be submitted to the License Commission at least three days before the event.

Step 3:

Once the meeting has occurred with the Special Events Committee, or a letter of permission is obtained from the event premises, the applicant must then:

  1. contact immediate neighbors and neighborhood associations and notify them of the upcoming event
  2. acquire an insurance policy of at least $1 million listing the City of Cambridge as beneficiary (for amusement rides only).
  3. Provide current state inspection certificates for all mechanical rides.

The License Commission will then complete an index card about the proposed event. The applicant will then provide a complete list of rides and the name, address and telephone number of the companies providing each ride.

Department Information

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm


Nicole Murati Ferrer, Esq.