Rockford Park District
Helping People Enjoy Life!

Special Use Permits

Special Use Permit Guidelines

Special use permits are required for any person wishing to use Rockford Park District property for purposes other than a picnic, requests which exceed shelter capacity, amplification or use of speakers for speaking or music, live entertainment, equipment items requested to come onto property, (NOTE: bounces houses don’t require a Special Use Permit, however standard administrative fees do apply), organized activities, events which are open to the public, weddings, and for reservations made during the off season (October 15- April 15). Requests can be submitted after January 2 of the year in which the event will take place. All requests are taken on a first come, first serve basis.

To apply for a special use permit click the link below:


Community Event Requests, which are open to the general public, (i.e. carnivals, walks/runs, weddings, etc.) must be submitted no later than two months prior to the date of the event. Non-submission of these requests by the deadline will result in a $50 late fee.

General Park Rental Requests (i.e. DJs, contracted equipment, non-reservable area reservations, etc.) must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the event date. Non-submission of these requests by the deadline will result in a $50 late fee.

Full payment, signed permits, copies of food handling/other permits, and proper insurance coverage/documentation associated with the issuance of the Special Use Permit must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event date. Non-submission of these documents by the deadline will indicate that services are no longer needed, and the reservation will be cancelled unless other arrangements have been made.

Things to Consider

  • A certificate of insurance is required for high risk activities, caterers/independent contractors coming onto property, and for events that are open to the general public. At the time of your request Rockford Park District staff will review your request and determine if the activities requested will require a Certificate of Insurance.

  • There are specific parks in which sound amplification is permitted. Sound amplification must comply with City "Noise" Ordinances, not played excessively in sound or operated unlawfully that may cause or create any unnecessary or unusual noise at any time which annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others unless such noise is necessary for the protection or preservation of property or of the health, safety, or life of some person, not operated before 8:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m., and not played within 600 feet of any building used for residential or hospital purposes. Parental Guidance Explicit Lyrics are not allowed. The Park District reserves the right to set sound levels for all events and/or immediately revoke the approval for sound amplification, if found in violation.

  • Water is not guaranteed at the shelters before April 15 or after October 15, due to the chance of freezing temperatures.

  • Water bounce houses, water balloons, dunk tanks, horses, animal rentals, and petting zoos are not permitted.

Rules, Regulations, Property Use Agreement, and Special Use FAQs

Upon receiving your permit you are agreeing and adhering to the Rockford Park District's Rules, Regulations, and Property Use Agreement.

Please report any vandalism you see to Park Police at 815-987-8874. If vandalism is in progress, please call 815-966-2900 and ask for the Park Police to be dispatched.

If you have additional questions, please contact Customer Service 815-987-8800.


  • Special Use Permit w/o Shelter: 1 Day = $135

  • Special Use Permit + Shelter: 1 Day = $55

  • Wedding Fee + Shelter/Area: 1 Day = $100

  • Alcohol Fee + Shelter/Area: 1 Day = $100

  • Property Use: Under 1 Week = $150

  • Property Use: Under 4 Weeks = $300

  • Property Use: Under 3 Months = $450

  • Property Use: Over 3 Months = $450 + $135/additional month