Special Events

A Special Event is a large event such as a festival, road race, parade, film shoots or walkathon. Such events may feature entertainment, amusements and food and beverages.  Special events may require a number of permits from various City departments depending on the size and nature of the event. The City's Public Works Department manages the City's Special Event program. Click here for more information about Special EventsClick here for information about film shoots. Once your event has been approved by the Special Events Committee, if it requires closing a public street or reserving spaces at meters, you will be instructed as to how to apply and pay for a Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department Special Event Permit. Cambridge residents, non-profit organizations and businesses may apply.

How to Apply

Applications for Special Events are reviewed by the City's Special Events Committee. Please contact the Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department at 617-349-4700 to discuss the application process for a special event. Click here for the Filming Request Form. Once your application has been submitted and reviewed, the City will contact you to discuss next steps. You may be asked to meet with the Special Events Committee to discuss your application.

When meeting with the committee, you must submit a detailed site plan or map of the area where the event is proposed to take place which includes:

  • Information demonstrating compliance with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal, state and local accessibility requirements.
  • Pedestrian & fire access.
  • Dimensions of stages & tents.
  • Type of equipment or generators.
  • Diagram showing the placement of any vendors and any portable toilet facilities.
  • If the site of the event is privately owned, a letter from the landlord giving the applicant the right to use the property.
  • A list all performances if the event is featuring entertainment.
  • If the event is featuring amusements, a list all rides and games.
  • Any letters of support from local community and business organizations if this is a "first year" of your event.

Please note that the Special Events Application Form is to receive approval for your event. As part of the event approval process you may be required to apply and pay for permits issued by various City Departments. If required for your event, use the link at the bottom of this page for the Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department Special Event Form.


  • TP&T Special Event Permit fees vary depending on the nature, size and location of the event.
  • Base charge: $100.00 (plus meter fees & employee overtime fess as applicable).
  • Meter fees are $10.00 per space per day.
  • Special Event permits cannot be paid for online. Call us at (617) 349-4721 to pay by credit card or come to our office at 344 Broadway to pay by credit card, check or cash.

Other Information

The City of Cambridge retains the right to revoke or deny street occupancy permits at any time for reasons including, but not limited to the following: non-compliance of any state law, City Ordinance, failure to comply with the above guidelines or failure to make payments.

All City permits are subject to review and can be revoked at any time per order of the Traffic, Parking & Transportation Director.