Outdoor Special Event

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Event Planner Frequently Asked Questions

The following are ten questions event planners should ask before holding an outdoor event on private property. If you have any further questions, please contact the Planning Division at planning@colliervilletn.gov or (901) 457-2360.

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More about Special Events 

The Town of Collierville has policies and rules that control public outdoor gatherings called Special Events. Depending on the event, organizers may need to get permits and approvals from the Town.

To maintain safety, cleanliness, and a family-friendly atmosphere, Special Events are categorized into two types based on their effect on the town and community: Class I and Class II.


Class I Special Event

Class I Special Events are outdoor activities that use Town property or need specialized services.

A permit from the Special Events Committee is needed for Class I events, and applications must be submitted to the Parks and Recreation Department at least 60 days beforehand. The Parks Department will inform all relevant departments to determine their level of sponsorship during the review of the permit.

If organizers think their event may be a Class I Special Event, they should contact the Parks Department at 901-457-2777.


Class II Special Event

These are outdoor activities on private property that don't need specialized Town services. These include events such as customer appreciation events, outdoor concerts, festivals, races, religious services, and parties.

If organizers think their activity is a Class II Special Event or want to make sure it follows Town rules (such as tents, displays, or signage), they should fill out the Outdoor Event (on Private Property) Questionnaire and send it to the Planning Division 60 days before the event.

If an event is expected to have over 250 people or has a cumulative total of over 500 people in a year, it needs a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the Town. CUPs cost $300 and take about 60 days to get approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) and the Planning Commission (PC).

Not all outdoor events need a CUP, and the Planning Division can determine if an event is "exempt" from CUP review. The Planning Division usually doesn't require a Conditional Use Permit for the following events:

  • Class I Special Events (but they still need approval from Parks Department)
  • Events held in approved permanent facilities like churches and conference centers
  • Funeral processions
  • Non-profit or business company picnics
  • Private outdoor events on institutional properties like schools or churches (with proper safety measures)
  • Neighborhood events organized by property owners' association for their members
  • Events held in public assembly places like stadiums, pools, and outdoor dining areas that are approved by Collierville
  • Events taking place solely on state-owned or Shelby County-owned property without any off-site impacts.