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Town of Summerville Special Events Office

200 S. Main St.

(843) 851-4216

Document Signers
    • 1 Requester

    • 2 Megan Boisvert

    • 3 Karen Failla

    • 4 John O'Meara

    • 5 Jeremiah Lee

    • 6 Amy Evans

    • 7 Russ Cornette

    • 8 Megan Boisvert

    • 9 Lisa Wallace


Town of Summerville,

South Carolina

Special Event Permit Application

A special event permit is required for any/all organized activity with fifty (50) or more people using publicly owned, managed or controlled property (including Right-of-Ways) that are partially outdoor events or, in the case of indoor events, involve anticipated attendance by more than 250 persons and/or the consumption of alcohol.

Note: All Town of Summerville ordinances (zoning, noise, signage etc.) must be adhered to. A special event permit does not guarantee the use of the covered picnic shelters/pavilions as those accommodations are on a first come, first serve basis.

Permit Process

As a clearing house for events, the Special Events Office serves as a communication tool and facilitator among various Town of Summerville (Town) departments affected by festivals and events. Although the Special Events Office administers the application process, each Town department is responsible for ensuring that its requirements have been met.

All applicable attachments and fees must be included with your Special Event Permit Application before the Town will begin the review process. All applications must include: 

  • Proposed Site Plan

  • Proposed Schedule of Events

  • If the event is on property not owned by the Event Host or the Town of Summerville proof of consent from the property owner must be included.

  • Signed Acknowledgement form from Summerville DREAM for events that include road closures in the Historic Downtown Shopping District

The review process takes a minimum of six (6) business days. Contacting the Special Events Office with approval queries within 6 days of the application submittal will only slow the process.

During the review process you will be notified if your event application requires additional documentation.

Staff in all appropriate Town of Summerville Departments will review the permit application. Should there be any specific questions or concerns about your event, Town staff will contact you.

Deadlines and Fees

Applications for parades/processions shall be submitted no less than sixty (60) days in advance of the requested event date.

All other applications shall be submitted a minimum of forty five (45) days in advance of the requested event date. 

Applications will not be processed until the $25 application fee is paid in full. The Application fee is nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Deposit amounts are determined by the size and scope of the event:

Single Day Event- $100

Multiple Day Event- $200

Road Race/Parade/Procession - $150

Compensation for Town Staff

Depending on the size and type of event, the Town of Summerville may require Town personnel including Police, Fire & Rescue, Public Works and/or Parks & Recreation to work the event. All Town personnel involved during the day(s) of the event will be charged back to the organizing agency. The Town shall determine the number necessary to ensure the safety of participants, minimize the inconvenience to our residents and reduce the public liability exposure to the organizing agency, as well as the Town. The final bill will be transmitted to the organizing agency within thirty (30) days after the completion of the event.

Town-Owned Property

The Town of Summerville does not allow the use of any Town-owned property for the purpose of profit (unless for charitable donations). No admission fees can be charged except entry fees to races/walks for the purpose of raising funds for a designated 501(c) 3 charity.

Special rules, regulations and restrictions unique to each site or facility may apply. Event permit holders will be given information specific to the site that they are requesting to use if applicable.

Events at the Cuthbert Community Center, Depot Building at Doty Park and the use of the Gazebos in Azalea Park have separate permit applications, fees, rules and regulations.

With the exception of meetings/events conducted by government agencies and Chambers of Commerce the use of Town Hall buildings is strictly prohibited.

Most public property cannot be reserved for the exclusive use of one group, and access to the general public must be available at all times.

No staking is allowed in Town of Summerville Parks due to irrigation systems.

Fastening or attaching any rope, sign, banners, fliers or other objects to any tree, shrub, fence or park feature including light poles on any Town of Summerville property is strictly prohibited.

The Town of Summerville does not provide water or additional power at any of the parks. If additional power is needed the event host must provide generator power.

The location of all toilets, hand wash stations and garbage receptacles must be approved by the Town of Summerville. Toilets, hand wash stations and garbage receptacles may be set-up no earlier than 24 hours in advance of the event and must be removed from Town property within 24 hours post event. If the event is on a Saturday, items can remain until 8:00 AM Monday unless there is an event scheduled for that Sunday.

The clean-up and removal of all trash is the sole responsibility of the event host. Garbage receptacles provided in various parks are for general, daily park use and may not be utilized for special event waste.

Certificate of Insurance

A certificate of insurance naming the Town of Summerville as an also insured will be required for all Major Events and in some cases, for smaller events as determined by the Town of Summerville.

Note: A Major Event is a Special Event that impacts multiple town departments, has 500 or more people in attendance, and has an impact on any street, right-of-way, and/or Town-owned or managed park or facility.

All events that include the use of fireworks, live animals, motorized/mechanical vehicles or equipment, inflatables (jump castles etc.) or other amusement rides, bungee cords and similar devices, trampolines, rebounding equipment or alcohol are required to obtain a copy of the contracting companies certificate of liability insurance naming the Town of Summerville as an also insured on general liability.

Events that include amusement rides must also provide a copy of the inspection report from the South Carolina Office of Elevators and Amusement Rides.

Licenses and Permits

The Event Permit Holder is solely responsible for obtaining all of the following (applicable) licenses and permits and must submit copies to the Town of Summerville no later than ten (10) business days prior to the event.

  • SC Dept. of Revenue Retail License

  • Town of Summerville Business License

  • SC Dept. of Revenue Special Event Beer, Wine and/or Liquor License

  • SC DHEC Food Service Permit

  • SC Dept. of Elevators and Amusement rides inspection report

  • SC Dept. of Labor, Licensing & Regulations Commercial Outdoor Display Permit

Failure to remit copies to the Town of Summerville may result in the redaction of the event permit.

Business Licenses

Per section 8-31 of the Town of Summerville Code of Ordinances all participating businesses, vendors, musical acts etc. must obtain a Town of Summerville Business License prior to participating in special events. A special event business license may be obtained no more than two (2) times per calendar year at a rate of $10 for in-town businesses and $20 for out of town businesses. Vendors that plan to participate in two or more events per year should apply for a regular business.

The event organizer may include the Business License fee in the vendor packet and obtain a business license on behalf of the vendor or the vendor may procure the license themselves no later than five (5) business days prior to the event.

Event organizers must provide the Town of Summerville Business License Office with a detailed list of all vendors no later than ten (10) business days prior to the event.

Schedule of Fees and Charges for Special Events

Application                                                     $25.00 non-refundable

Deposit                                                           $100.00 - $200.00 varies as noted above

Police Officers                                                $30.00 per hour per officer (4-hour minimum)

Fire Inspector (special inspection)                  $30.00

Parks and Recreation Staff                             varies/per hour per staff member

Barricades                                                       $25.00 per barricade, per day

Returned Check Fee                                       $35.00 may also result in event cancellation


If for any reason there is damage to any part of the area, which was reserved for the special event, or damage to another area as a direct result of the event, the extent of damage, as determined by the sole discretion of the Town of Summerville, shall be determined and the dollar amount of any repair or replacement and restitution will be billed to the applicant to be paid in full no more than thirty (30) days from the billing date. If payment is not received within the allotted time, all future special event permit requests will be denied until such time as payment is received and, in addition, Town of Summerville may take legal action to recover costs, including attorney’s fees. These costs can be deducted from the security deposit. The provision shall also apply in the case where the party is not required to pay a security deposit for the special event.

Release and Indeminfication

In consideration for being permitted to use public facilities and/or facilities owned by the Town of Summerville, Applicant agrees to indemnify, release and hold harmless the Town of Summerville, its officers and employees from and against all liability, claims, and demands which are incurred, made or brought by any person or entity on account of damage, loss or injury, including, without limitation, claims arising from property loss or damage, bodily injury, personal injury, sickness, disease, death, or any other loss of any kind whatsoever which arise out of or are in any manner connected with the use of the facilities whether any such liability, claims, and demands result from the act, omission, negligence, or other fault on the fault of the Town of Summerville, its officers, or its employees or from any other cause whatsoever. Your organization is fully responsible for complying with all applicable laws and safety procedures. This permit does not authorize you to enter upon private property or in any way hinder or obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic. In order to protect the general health, safety and public welfare of its citizens, The Town of Summerville reserves the right to deny and/or modify the conditions of this permit or to cancel it entirely if it is deemed appropriate by the Town of Summerville.

Download the Cover Letter as a PDF for your records.

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I have read and acknowledge the above information and understand that failure to comply will result in the redaction of permit.
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Additional Signatures Required

Site Plan/Map of Proposed Event Layout Click Here to Upload
Proposed Schedule of Events Click Here to Upload
Summerville DREAM acknowledgement form Click Here to Upload
Liability Insurance with the Town of Summerville listed as an also insured Click Here to Upload
Map designating the location of barricades Click Here to Upload
Any additional information that may be helpful in the application review process Click Here to Upload