Special Event - Application Process

Application Process

 *Complete Special Event Applications must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the event 

Step 1: Determine Event Date and Location
Whatcom County Parks have a variety of parks, trails and facilities available for your event. For a complete list of available spaces, click here. Locations are available on a first come, first serve basis. 

Applications for events from January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2019 can be accepted as early as October 1, 2018. Applications for events occurring April 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 will be accepted starting December 3, 2018. 

Step 2: Submit Application and Supplemental Information
 A complete application must include:

  1. Special Event Application
  2. $100 non-refundable application fee
  3. Plan of Operation   
  4. Security & Emergency Management Plan
  5. Detailed Site Map

Plan of Operation
Click here for helpful links and resources

Please describe in narrative the following applicable aspects of your proposed event:

  - General description of event & how it will be operated
  - Parking/Traffic flow
  - Sanitation and garbage disposal
  - Utilities
  - Facilities and areas proposed to be used
  - Describe all areas where food/beverages are being served
  - Animal control
  - Trails should identify start / finish lines
  - Aid stations
  - Other

Security & Emergency Management Plan

Please describe in narrative the how you will respond to an emergency situation and how you will communicate with volunteers, emergency responders, and the event team in case of an emergency. Please consider the following:

  - Location of Emergency Command Center / Staging area and access for emergency vehicles
  - Describe in detail the security protocols for your event
  - Primary and Secondary Event Officials - people with authority to cancel or modify activities,
    along with their day of event contact info
  - Available on-site medical equipment and names/contact information of trained
    staff / volunteers
  - Protocol for missing persons and lost children
  - Identification of risk- factors thresholds that would alter or cancel the event
    e.g. weather, air/water quality, policy activities, etc.

* Depending on the size and scope of the event, event security may be required. This will be determined during the application review.

Detailed Site Map
Click Here for park maps available to use. (Sample Map)

Site maps are required to show overall event layout and any separately fenced areas. Depending on event type, map generally must include the following: 

  - Fencing/barriers                              - Porta-potty locations
  - Bleachers                                        - Generators
  - Booths                                             - Vehicles/Parking Areas
  - Canopies/Tents                               - Entrances/Exits
  - Cooking Areas                                 - Start/Finish Lines
  - Security Locations                           - Aid Stations Locations  
  - Marked Routes                                - Emergency Vehicle Ingress/Egress 

Complete applications may be submitted: to WCPREvents@co.whatcom.wa.us or mailed:                  Whatcom County Parks & Recreation
       3373 Mount Baker Highway
       Bellingham, WA 98226

*Please note that completing the application and paying the application fee does not guarantee approval of your event. 

Step 3: Application Review and Permit Timeline

  1. 90 days prior to event, complete application is submitted (Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed.)
  2. After receiving completed application, staff will respond via email to confirm if application has been accepted, space/requested date is available, provide an initial review and request any additional information needed.
  3. 30 days prior to the event all insurance documents must be received, including a complete list of vendors and the required vendor insurance documents. Click here for additional information on insurance requirements.
  4. Prior to the event you will receive an unsigned permit letter outlining all event requirements. Review, sign and return hard copy.
  5. Once all requirements have been met, you will receive a signed permit letter for your event.

Step 4: Have a Successful Event!