The City of Columbus, Indiana features a variety of municipal resources lending themselves to use for community events. Events require careful coordination between the Event Organizer and City of Columbus resources. If you or your organization are proposing an event, it is essential that this policy and application be thoroughly reviewed well in advance of a proposed event date to ensure the policy requirements can be met.

It is the intent of the City to facilitate the public’s right of assembly and the public’s right of free speech, while providing boundaries as to time, place and manner as allowed by law and necessary to protect public safety and access. It is also the intent herein to provide constructive guidance assisting organizers to produce the most successful and safe events possible.

Events must be family-friendly and conducted in a manner that maintains public safety and access for residents, businesses, and visitors. Events should enhance the residential and commercial vibrancy of the City of Columbus.

To stage an event in public space, managed by the City of Columbus, you must have an Event Application approved by the Board of Public Works and Safety or the Parks and Recreation Board.

Approval of the Event Application does not relieve the Event Organizer from obtaining all other applicable City of Columbus, Bartholomew County, State of Indiana or Indiana Department of Homeland Security permits that would be required for this event.

To check availability and reserve your requested date, please email Your date will be held for 7 days, and you must complete the application in that time. Failure to do so will result in your date no longer being held.

Application Process & Checklist

  • Submit your application based on the deadlines and meeting dates listed below.

  • Event Application submittals will operate on a rolling calendar year system.  When the event is over for the year, a proposed date for the following year may be submitted.

  • Event applications are valid only for the day(s) specified and approved. Annual events require a new application yearly.

Please make sure all required information is on hand before starting the application. 

Select from the event types below (A, B, C, D) to ensure you are completing the appropriate application for the proposed event. If you are unsure, please email with any questions. The correct event type is important, as it prompts the steps and requirements in the process.

A. Downtown Event

  1. If the proposed event is within the designated area of 1st Street to 8th Street and Brown Street to Lafayette Avenue, please complete the application.
  2. Please note that the closure of Washington Street is to be considered only when the event has been previously held there, however that is not a guarantee for approval. As the grandfathered events on Washington Street cease, no new Washington Street closures will be added, unless an exception is made by the Board of Public Works and Safety (BOW) with a recommendation by the City Engineer. Final approval by the BOW is required.

B. Mill Race Park Event

  1. If the proposed event meets at least one (1) of the following criteria, please complete the event application:
    1. Estimated attendance is over 250
    2. Alcohol will be served
    3. Homeland Security approval will be required
    4. Request is for full park closure

If the proposed event does not meet any of the above criteria, please contact the Parks Department at 812-376-2685.

C. Run, Walk, or Ride Event

  1. If the proposed event uses any combination of city streets, sidewalks and/or People Trails, please complete the application.
  2. If the proposed 5K route is ONE of the FOUR designated People Trail routes, do not complete application. Contact the Parks Department at 812-376-2691.

D. Any Other City Property Event

  1. If the proposed event does not fit into the other three categories, but is on city property, please complete the application. Examples include a neighborhood block party, neighborhood holiday parade, church back-to-school events, or high school band competition closures.
  2. If the proposed event utilizes city streets and sidewalks, or any other city right of way, please complete the application.
  3. Do not complete the application if the proposed event is to be held at NexusPark Fieldhouse, NexusPark Community Center, Parks & Recreation outdoor sports facilities, parks, or park shelter houses