Special Events Policy

Special events are extremely important to the quality of life for Wake Forest residents. However, any event scheduled to take place on public property requires the coordination of multiple town resources. To facilitate the planning process, each approved event, no matter the size, must receive a special event permit.

Please Note

  • An application to hold a special event does not constitute approval for the event nor issuance of a permit. It simply provides information necessary to process and consider permit issuance. Final event approval and permit will be determined in accordance with the Town of Wake Forest's adopted special events policy.

  • For events at Town parks, contact the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department at 919-435-9560.

  • For events at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, call 919-435-9458.

How to Apply for a Special Event Permit

  1. Read the Special Events Policy.

  2. Contact the Community Events Coordinator if this is your first request for a special event at 919-435-9415. She will determine whether or not a permit application should be submitted.

  3. If determined necessary, complete the Town of Wake Forest Special Events Permit Application. All applications must be submitted to the Town of Wake Forest no less than 45 days prior to the start of the event. Please ensure that the required application fee and any required documents are submitted as well.

 Special Events Permit Application


What's the difference between a Community Event and a Town-Organized Event?

Community Events 

These are approved “special events” that a business, church, community group, or other organization runs, pays for, and plans after applying for and receiving a Special Event Permit from the Town of Wake Forest. Town staff approve an event location (Festival Street/East Owen Avenue, South White Street, etc.), and may require staff from Police, Public Works, and other departments, as necessary. Community Event Organizers are invoiced for the cost of Town staff required to work the event.

Examples of Community Events include the Wake Forest Rotary Club’s Cars & Carnivores Street Festival, Wake Forest Downtown, Inc.’s Forest Fest, and the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce’s Meet in the Street.

Town-Organized Events

These are events that the Town of Wake Forest creates, pays for, and plans. Town of Wake Forest staff manage the programming, including activities, logistics, and vendors. These are often referred to as “Town Events.”

Examples of Town events include Friday Night on White, Halloween Boo Bash, and the Wake Forest Cares Holiday Kickoff.


Organizational Performance
Organizational Performance Director