Special Events

Click here to download the Special Event/Activity Questionnaire.

Balloon RaceAnnually, numerous groups and organizations request special uses of Washoe County Park facilities.  These uses range from small to large events such as charitable fundraisers and the Great Reno Balloon Race, to large private parties and company picnics. Each request is unique and requires varying degrees of commitment and involvement by the Community Services Department - Regional Parks and Open Space, as well as, on many occasions, other County and local agencies.

The County recognizes the many cultural, social and financial benefits to be derived from the proper management and implementation of these special uses and events.  Not only do they enhance the quality of life, stimulate economic growth and tourism, and promote public recreation, but they also provide financial support and public appreciation for charitable groups, the fine arts, and other worthwhile endeavors.  Providing park facilities and recreation resources for special events and uses on a regional basis has been and will continue to be a logical function of Parks.

While recognizing these benefits, the County, however, has the responsibility to adequately balance the needs and requirements of these special uses against the management and use of its resources and public property, the protection of public health and safety, and the compliance and enforcement of State and County statutes and ordinances.

What is considered a Special Event?

Any planned gathering of 500 or more people, whether public or private, for profit or non-profit, which includes, but is not limited to, the reservation of a specific area or areas of a Washoe County Park, or, regardless of anticipated attendance, has the potential to impact County Parks personnel and/or resources, and/or use by the general public, beyond which is normal.  Special events often involve other County and local governmental agencies, including the District Health Department, Community Development, Sheriff’s Office, Reno Police Department, Nevada Highway Patrol and local fire agencies.  Examples of special events may include, though are not limited to, athletic events, music concerts, arts and crafts shows, car shows and cultural performances.

What is considered a Special Activity?

A planned event with an anticipated attendance up to 2,000 people, with a maximum duration of one day, taking place during normal park hours, and generally not requiring additional resources from Parks.  A special activity may require an additional day for setup and takedown.  A special activity would not fall under all of the guidelines of a special event and would not require a special event permit. Example: large company picnic, cross county run, charity walk, or mountain bike race. 

Where do I start?

Sponsors interested in holding a Special Event/Activity will need to complete a Special Event Questionnaire. Submit to Joanna Schultz, Parks Administration by email (jschultz@washoecounty.gov) or fax (775) 829-8014. For information or questions contact Joanna at (775) 823-2047.