I. Introduction
  1. Purpose of Banner Program
  2. Banner Advisory Committee
II. Regulations for Participation in Banner Program
  1. Eligibility
  2. Banner Content
  3. Design Approval
  4. Banner Size and Features
  5. Banner Placement and Cost
  6. Banner Display Schedule
  7. Number of Banners
  8. Storage and Liability
  9. Ownership Responsibility
  10. Prioritization
Download Banner Application
I. Introduction
      A. Purpose of the Banner Program

The purpose of the Banner Program is to enhance and beautify the Central Business District, to add color and excitement to downtown Columbus, and to aid in the promotion of significant cultural and civic events. The festival or event must be hosted by the City of Columbus, an eligible not-for-profit organization, or an organization approved by the City.  The event must be open to the public, be of common interest to the general community, contribute to the cultural fabric of the City, and/or encourage local tourism to the area, especially in the Downtown Arts & Entertainment District.

      B. Banner Advisory Committee

The Banner Advisory Committee is an ad-hoc committee of the Mayor, which reports directly to the Board of Public Works.  The committee shall consist of at least five members, including the Community Development Department, Planning Department, and appropriate representatives of the Downtown Merchants Association and the Downtown Arts & Entertainment District.  The committee shall meet as required to perform its duties.

This group shall review applications and banner artwork before banners are ordered, and approve or modify banners according to the provisions outlined below.  The committee shall present applications and their recommendations to the Board of Public Works regarding requests to display special event banners for final approval.  The City of Columbus reserves the right to deny a banner request based on the best interests of the City.  Any disputes arising from the Banner Policy will be reviewed by the City’s Banner Advisory Committee and the Board of Public Works whose decision will be final.

II. Regulations for Participation in Banner Program

A. Eligibility

Banners must represent or promote not-for-profit cultural or civic events which are event specific and promote the downtown area.  Examples include:

  • Neighborfest
  • Farmers Market
  • Biggest Block Party
  • Ethnic Expo
  • Mill Race Marathon

Banners will not be displayed for the following purposes:

  • Commercial Advertising
  • Political Candidates or Parties
  • Issues considered controversial in nature which promote or incite civil disorder and are not community event specific
  • General recognition banners which, although supporting worthy causes, are not event specific.

  B. Banner Content

Banner design must be generic in nature, graphically or symbolically representing or depicting the event.

Since banners will be observed from a distance, frequently by motorists, it is strongly recommended that the design be bold and simple.  Messages should be kept to a minimum and generally announce an event without specific dates in order to reuse banners in future years to promote the recurring event.

In consideration of the public benefit, the prime host or sponsor of a cultural or civic event of general public interest may be given sponsorship credit.

The sponsorship credit shall be tastefully incorporated in the banner design. No telephone numbers or similar forms of advertising are permitted. Creativity is encouraged and, although sponsorship is not location specific on the banner, should have lettering not to exceed two inches in size.  A logo which includes the sponsor name can be used.  The focus, however, should be on the event and not the sponsor.


Banner example
















C. Design Approval

The preliminary graphic design of the banner will be jointly reviewed by the sponsoring organization and the Banner Advisory Committee.  A dimensional color artwork drawing (minimum size 3” x 9”) is to be submitted for preliminary approval.  THE BANNER ADVISORY COMMITTEE MUST APPROVE THE FINAL GRAPHIC DESIGN.  Banners must be well maintained.  Maintenance will be at the discretion of the Banner Advisory Committee.

  D. Banner Size and Features

The banner must be professionally manufactured to ensure quality and shall be constructed of rip stop nylon or a minimum 15 oz double-faced smooth weave vinyl.

Banner size is 31” in width and 94” in height after fabrication.  A 5 ½ in loop hem must be sewn in the top of the banner (for threading on the upper banner arm), and a 1 ½ in hem sewn in the bottom of the banner with four grommets placed on the bottom hem (for fastening to bottom banner arm).  The banners shall be double faced and have a maximum printing area of 30” x 90”.

E. Banner Placement

The banner display schedule will be presented to the Board of Public Works by the Banner Advisory Committee for approval.  Banners will be placed and removed only by the City’s Department of Public Works at the total installation cost of $150.  Checks shall be made payable to the City of Columbus and payment is required at the time of application.  No dates will be reserved prior to application approval and payment.  Submission of application, approval and payment must be done annually.

  F. Banner Display Schedule

Any organization desiring to promote its special event through use of a new banner must file an application with the Banner Advisory Committee not less than two months (three months preferred) before the requested display date.

Organizations desiring to promote special events through use of banners previously displayed through this program must file an application with the Banner Advisory Committee not less than one month before the requested display date.

The Banner Advisory Committee may modify the banner schedule (timing and placement) at any time, subject to Board of Public Works approval.  Typically, first priority on requested locations is given on a first come, first served basis.

Organizations may make a brief presentation at the scheduled Board of Public Works meeting.

Banners may be hung for two to four weeks prior to the event.  Banners will be removed as soon as practical after the event.

The maximum display time may be limited to allow as many organizations as possible to participate in the program.  In the event of scheduling conflicts, the length of time for banner display, the quantity of banners displayed, and locations, will be at the discretion of the Banner Advisory Committee.  Organizations may display banners at the same time, but the designs and numbers must be approved for simultaneous display.

  G. Number of Banners

In order for an organization to participate in the banner program, it must be willing to provide a minimum of 10 banners.  The number of banners to be displayed must be approved by the committee to ensure an acceptable pattern of placement and availability during the time requested.

H. Storage and Liability

Banners are the property of the sponsoring organization, but (when space is available) the City may store banners if requested to do so by the sponsoring organization.

The City of Columbus is not responsible for the banners while they are being displayed, hung, removed or stored.

If you choose to store your own banners:  please pick them up from the Department of Community Development within 10 business days after they are removed or they may be discarded.  Community Development will notify you when your banners are ready for pickup.

  I. Ownership Responsibility

The sponsoring organization is responsible for all costs associated with the production, printing, delivery, storage, and installation of the banners.

The Banner Advisory Committee will coordinate with, and serve as liaison to, the Board of Public Works and the City’s Department of Public Works regarding approval, scheduling, installation, and removal of banners.

Reused banners will only be hung if they are in good and standard condition, subject to the discretion of the Banner Advisory Committee.  The City of Columbus is not responsible for any damage that may occur to banners from any cause.  Replacement of defective, torn and/or weather worn banners is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.

     J. Prioritization

1 – City sponsored* and co-sponsored events

2 – Major multi-day events with community-wide involvement

3 – Community promotions

4 – Other major cultural or civic events

* For the purpose of this policy, City sponsored shall be defined as an applicant meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Receives grant money from the City of Columbus
  • Has a contractual relationship with the City of Columbus
  • Receives in kind services from City of Columbus staff, or
  • The City of Columbus is a member of the applicant’s organization