Town of Summerville
General Special Event
A special event permit is required for any/all of the following types of events requesting use of publicly owned, managed or controlled property (including Right-of-Ways).
- Organized public meeting or assembly with fifty (50) or more people
- Organized parade, no minimum number. It is unlawful for any person or entity to hold, manage, conduct, aid, participate in, form, start or carry on any parade or public meeting or assembly (as defined in Chapter 24 Article II of the Town Ordinance) in or upon any public street, park or other public grounds in the town unless and until a permit to conduct such meeting, assembly or parade has been obtained in compliance with the provisions of this division. Applications for these must be submitted at least 60 days in advance of the requested event date. Late applications may be accepted if filed sufficiently in advance of the date of the proposed activity to enable the town to determine that such activity meets the requirements.
- If an organization is requesting use of power. If requesting access to power at any Town-owned Park or pavilion, the requester is required to submit a permit regardless of the event size.
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.
If you are submitting a special event permit you must ensure that your event does not fall into any of the below. The below indicates what type of permits are not allowed within the Town of Summerville.
- The Town of Summerville does not allow the use of any Town-owned property for the purpose of profit. Such activity is not to be held for the sole purpose of advertising the goods, wares, or merchandise of a particular business establishment or vendor. Individual(s) or entity of any kind may use Town property for the purpose of generating a profit to the individual(s) or entity when the individual(s) or entity participating in an event sponsored by a 501(3)(c) organization or eleemosynary organization such as the YMCA.
- Town Hall buildings are strictly prohibited with the exception of meetings/events conducted by government agencies and Chambers of Commerce.
- 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. All events are expected to be family-friendly in nature.
- Multi-day permits that exceed three consecutive days; no permits will be approved for an event that will last longer than three days unless approved by the Town Administrator.
The permit process requires the event applicant to complete the following permit, attach a detailed event map & timeline, and then submit the materials. After the materials are submitted the permit holder will receive an email confirmation with an attachment of the submitted permit. From there the permit will enter the signatures process and be reviewed and signed off on by multiple Town of Summerville Departments. Each individual permit signer will review the application and comment about any items that require follow up from the permit holder. After the permit has completed this process, it will be reviewed by the Town Administrator and either approved or denied. The permit holder will then receive an emailed copy of the final permit that includes all signatures, comments and final decision. The permit holder will then be required to follow up on any comments made or pay any required fees.
All applicable attachments must be included with your Special Event Permit Application before the Town will begin the review process. All applications must include:
- Proposed Site Map/Plan (REQUIRED)
- Proposed Timeline/Schedule of Events (REQUIRED)
- Certificate of Insurance that names the Town as additionally insured (optional at time of submitting; this document may be required for events but can be submitted via email after the permit is completed).
The review process generally takes a minimum of three (3) weeks. During the review process you will be notified if your event application requires additional documentation.
Applications for parades (no minimum number) shall be submitted no less than sixty (60) days in advance of the requested event date. All other applications (public meeting and/or assembly) shall be submitted a minimum of forty-five (45) days in advance of the requested event date. A permit may be submitted up to one (1) year in advance of the proposed event date.
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.
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 Depot Building at Doty Park, Rollins Edwards Community Center and the use of the Gazebos in Azalea Park must be reserved through the Parks and Recreation Department and have separate fees, rules and regulations. Public events at these locations that impact public use are required to also obtain a special event permit.
Permits at Gahagan Park are discouraged and are based on field availability. Before submitting a permit for Gahagan Park check availability by contacting the Parks and Recreation athletics office at (843) 851-5211. Events at Gahagan Park will require the permit holder to pay field rental fees in addition to permit fees.
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. Use of sandbags or weights is permitted.
No signage is permitted prior to your event. Banners or other signage may be displayed during the event and must be removed immediately following the event. Event organizers are not permitted to use nails, tacks, screws or other items that would damage property. Any rope used to secure banners or other signage should be removed completely.
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 or Sunday, items can remain until 9:00 AM Monday.
If additional garbage collection bins are needed for the event it is the permit holder’s responsibility to provide those. The clean-up and removal of all trash is the sole responsibility of the permit holder. Garage receptacles provided in various parks should be emptied at the end of your event and bags should be replaced by permit holder.
Certificate of Insurance
A certificate of insurance naming the Town of Summerville as additionally 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, or has an impact on any street, rights-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 in the amount of $1,000,000 naming the Town of Summerville as additionally insured.
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
- 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.
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. Vendors that plan to participate in two or more events per year should apply for a regular business license. Questions regarding business license fees can be directed to the Business License office.
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 - $30 non-refundable
Single Day Deposit - $200 refundable
Road Race/Parade/Procession Deposit - $250 refundable
Multiple Day Event Deposit - $300 refundable
Park Impact Fees (Events over 500) - $150 non-refundable
Police Officers - Billed at current hourly rate (4-hour minimum)
Firefighter - Billed at current hourly rate (4-hour minimum)
Fire Inspector (special inspection) - Billed at current hourly rate
Parks and Recreation Staff - $30 per hour
Barricades - $25 per barricade, per day
Park impact for Events over 500 - $150 non-refundable
Damage or excessive cleanup - Billed at cost plus labor
Returned Check Fee - $35 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 Indemnification
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.