Special Events

The City of Topeka is proud to host numerous events every year. Our goal is to assist event organizers in planning safe and successful events that have minimal impact on the communities surrounding the event. Keep in mind, each special event planned is important to the City of Topeka, whether it’s a small neighborhood block party or a large parade.

The Special Event Application and Debris Deposit Form have been designed to help you identify the services, equipment and activities needed early in the planning stages. We hope by doing so, we will minimize last minute surprises for all parties during your upcoming event. Please take a few minutes to read through the application thoroughly.

The Administrative Regulations may be applied during the process of reviewing and approving special event applications. Regulations that will be considered include (1) Reducing Length of Street Closure (2) Using Alternative Streets (3) Notice to Surrounding Property Owners and (4) Consideration of Noise.

If your event location is the State Capitol area, please contact the Capitol Police at 785-296-3420.

Downtown Events

If your event will be held downtown within the established Business Improvement District (BID), you must contact Greater Topeka Partnership within 3 days of the date which you submitted your application. They will assist you in contacting and/or notifying businesses.

Call 785-215-8765 or email Stephanie Wilhelm.

Downtown Events Notification List

NOTO Arts & Entertainment District Events

If your event will be held in the NOTO Arts & Entertainment District, you must contact the NOTO Arts Center within 3 days of the date which you submitted your application. They will assist you in contacting and/or notifying businesses.

Call 785-408-8996, or email Thomas Underwood.

Learn more about having special events in NOTO.

NOTO Arts and Entertainment District Notification List:

Topeka Performing Arts Center (TPAC)

If your event will be held in the downtown area near the TPAC venue, (SE 8th Street and Quincy Street) please contact TPAC representatives so they can assist with planning an event around the Venue as soon as your event date has been confirmed.

Call Event Services 785-234-2787, extension 105 or email Blair Adams, Director of Event Services

Some Points to Consider When Filling Out the Application

How Do I Know If I Need a Special Event Permit?

You will need a Special Event Permit if you are planning an organized activity involving the use of, or having an impact on, public property, facilities, public parks, sidewalks, or street areas. (e.g. neighborhood block parties, parades, running events)

What Day & Time Should My Special Event Be Scheduled?

The City of Topeka suggests the best possible days and times be utilized to minimize the impact on public safety, traffic, and surrounding neighborhoods. For example, when planning an event downtown, please consider scheduling the event on a weekend or during non-business hours in the evening.

Do I Have a Route?

The route must be clear to indicate the event site location, stage/entertainment areas, food, game and sales booths, parking areas, restroom facilities and street closures with a list of specific street names and locations of barricades. A map description must show the location of the barricaded portion of the city right-of-way and any cross streets that could be affected with the street closure.

Are Barricades Needed?

The City of Topeka does not provide the barricades needed for an event. Below is a list of companies that can provide you with more information on barricade rentals. You are to ensure accessibility for the Topeka Fire and Police Departments and the safety of all attendees when barricading the event area. You also agree to assign a person from your organization to the barricaded area to assure proper closure. The person assigned to this barricade is to remain at the barricade for the duration of the street closure. You agree to notify all businesses which are located on the streets of your event about the event times and dates.

  • If your event is a Neighborhood Block Party, Type III barricades are required.
  • If your event is a large parade, Type III barricades or water barricades will be required. Please call the Topeka Police Department at 785-368-9015 for further information.
  • Barricade Rental Information:
    Mather Flare: 785-478-3780
    C-Hawkk: 785-542-1800
    Traffic Control Services, Inc.: 785-448-0402

Do I Need a Noise Exception Resolution?

If an event organizer has concerns their event may trigger noise complaints, they should seek an noise exception.

Noise exceptions are sponsored by your city council member and approved at a regularly scheduled council meeting which are usually the first three Tuesdays of each month. Please take the council meeting schedule into consideration when submitting your Special Event application to allow time for processing. The following information is needed for a noise exception resolution:

  • Name, Address and Phone Number for Contact Information
  • Location of the event
  • Date(s) and Time(s) of event
  • Type of amplified noise (Examples: Live Band, Speaker, DJ)


Will Alcohol Be Served at the Event?

The City requires an event that is serving alcohol/cereal malt beverages to submit the special event application no less than 60 business days before the event date. If alcohol will be sold as part of a special event in the City Right-Of-Way, an alcohol resolution approved by the council is required. The resolution is sponsored by your city council member and approved at a regularly scheduled council meeting. Please take the council meeting schedule and the Kansas Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s application timelines into consideration when submitting your special event application to allow time for processing.

The seller is required to have an Alcohol Beverage License. For more information on regulations, you can access the
Kansas Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) website or call (785) 296-7015.

Who is your council member?


Which Is Required for My Event, a Certificate of Liability Insurance or a Hold Harmless Agreement?

  • A Hold Harmless Agreement may be used in lieu of a Certificate of Liability Insurance for a block party exclusively serving food in the City right-of-way.
  • A Certificate of Liability Insurance is needed for all events with the exception of block parties listing the City of Topeka as an additional insured in the amount of $500,000.


Application Deadlines

  • 60 Business Days (12 weeks) if the event is serving alcohol beverages (Governing Body approval may be necessary)
  • 45 Business Days (8 weeks) if your event occurs on a holiday (Recognized holidays include New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
  • 30 Business Days (6 weeks) if the event occurs on any day that is NOT a holiday
  • 20 Business Days (4 weeks) if the event is a block party


Special Event Applications may be mailed, faxed or emailed to the City Clerk’s office. Please submit the application, map/route description, $50 fee for events and $25 for block parties, a Certificate of Public Liability Insurance or Hold Harmless Agreement (exclusively for the serving of food at a neighborhood block party).


City Clerk’s Office
215 SE 7th Street, Room 166
Topeka, Kansas 66603
Fax Number: 785-368-3943
Email: cclerk@topeka.org


Once you have completed and submitted your application, City staff will review your application. Once this review is complete, the City Clerk’s office will issue the Special Event Permit for your event. If you have any questions during the application process, please contact the City Clerk at 785-368-3940 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


What is a Debris Deposit?

A debris deposit is required for each special event (Block parties are excluded from this requirement). The purpose of the deposit is to ensure that normal traffic flow and access is restored to the area in a prompt manner and that the site(s) is returned to its former condition (normal wear and tear excepted).  If not, the deposit will be forfeited and approval of special event permits may be withheld in the future.

Deposits are determined as follows:

  • $250 – Less than 5,000 people in attendance
  • $500 – More than 5,000 people in attendance


Effective January 1, 2019, the use or discharge of confetti guns is prohibited during parades approved by the City of Topeka. All debris must be removed from the street(s) and/or right-of-way within 30 minutes after the ending time noted on the event permit; and

  • All other associated clean-up must be completed within
    12 hours after the ending time noted on the event permit.
  • A post-event inspection will be conducted by city staff, if all cleanup requirements have been met you will receive a refund within two (2) weeks.
  • Advertising Your Event – Pursuant to TMC 9.10.010: NO Posting or Affixing of Event Advertisements on Public Property (parking meters, lampposts, utility poles, traffic control device, etc.)

Please ensure approval of your special event application by the city before you announce your activity. Acceptance of the application by the city is neither a guarantee of the date or location nor an automatic approval of your event.

Below is a list of city representatives available for questions or concerns about your event:

Name Department Phone Email
Tonya Bailey City Clerk’s Office 785-368-3940 cclerk@topeka.org
Jeff Sloan Topeka Police Department 785-368-9576 jsloan@topeka.org
Adam Appelhanz Topeka Fire Department 785 368-4144 ajappelh@topeka.org
Andy Rosebrook Traffic Engineering Division 785-368-3044 arosebrook@topeka.org
Todd Workman Street Operations Division 785-368-0128 tworkman@topeka.org
Jenn Howey Parking Division 785- 368-2584 jhowey@topeka.org
Mary Feighny City Attorney’s Office 785-368-3883 mfeighny@topeka.org

To help in identifying routes, these websites can be helpful: