Apply to Host a Block Party

woman-using-phone-and-laptop.png

Block parties are an excellent way to bring a neighborhood together and celebrate community spirit. With a free permit, you can temporarily close your street and use the right of way to host a party for your neighbors.

How to Host a Block Party

Step 1.Identify a coordinator and pick a date

Identify a coordinator for the event. Be sure to fill out the permit application at least 15 days prior to the event. If you have any questions about the Block Party application, please contact the city's Neighborhoods Services Manager, Sam Moullet.

Step 2.Gather the required information

Applicants must upload a legible site plan or map with each application. Site plans must include details regarding the location of all operational equipment (tents, barricades, port-o-lets, inflatable amusements such as bounce houses, cooking areas, etc.) and other information needed to describe the event.

If a road closure is requested, routes for emergency vehicles, private vehicles and pedestrian traffic must be shown on your site plan. If alcohol is to be served, the site plan must show locations where alcohol will be served.

Step 3.Determine if you need a block party permit or a Special Events permit

Every block party in the public right of way must acquire either a block party permit or a Special Events permit.

You need to obtain a Special Events permit if one of more of the following applies to your event:

  • You plan to serve or consume alcohol in the public right of way
  • Your event has more than 300 attendees
  • Your event will involve food trucks

Block party permit criteria:

  • Event takes place on a street or public right of way
  • Less than 300 attendees
  • No food trucks or food trucks on private property
  • No alcohol or alcohol on private property

Step 4.Apply for a permit and wait for approval

Special Events Permit

Block Party Permit

Planning Checklist

Step 1.Fill out the permit application at least 15 days prior to the event date.

Step 2.Ask for help from your neighbors.

Then assign duties to others such as publicity, food & refreshments, children’s activities, adult games, entertainment and set-up/breakdown.

Note: Section 6.31 (4) (b) of the Code of Ordinances prohibits the possession of any opened or unsealed container of alcoholic beverage in any public park or right-of-way without the issuance of an alcoholic beverage special event permit (can be requested through with a Tier 2 block party application). The City of Clearwater does not convey permission to violate that code section. Please be sure to plan your activity accordingly.

Step 3.Barricades are required if requesting a street closure for your activity.

Events scheduled after dark must have lighted barricades. Barricades can be rented from private companies. The Police and Fire Departments will review each permit, including the street requested to be closed. An alternative street may be selected if a safety issue is identified. Here are examples of approved barricades.

Inform neighbors of the scheduling of street closures and times the road will be closed and reopened.

Step 4.Is music a part of the block party celebration?

Please note that the music should be turned off at 10:00 P.M. Sunday - Thursday and 11:00 P.M. on Friday. Sound permits are only required in City parks.

Step 5.As food is generally a staple for block parties, consider potluck style or having the event catered.

A voting contest for the best items (such as a dessert) can also generate more food for the party and add to the festivities. Inquire whether a neighbor has a grill to use at the party.

Step 6.Consider options for kids that may attend the block party.

Consider holding an event for the kids to participate in, such as a decorated bicycle parade or talent show.

Consider kids' games and friendly competitions—possibly a treasure hunt, arts and crafts, etc.

Step 7.Consult with your neighbors about their hidden talents to provide entertainment for the party.

Step 8.Invite, via the permit application, members of the Clearwater Police and Fire Departments to the party.

Children enjoy the big fire trucks, and it gives folks an opportunity to meet the protectors of our community.

Step 9.Keep your neighborhood clean.

Place waste and recycling containers near all eating areas. All debris must be cleaned from the street and front yards at the end of the party. Individuals should put out the trash on their regular collection day. Leave nothing behind but memories.

Step 10.Make sure to take lots of photos!

The city has a Facebook page and will post your party photos there. It may encourage other neighborhoods to have their own block party. Photos can be emailed to Neighborhood Services. Please include, if possible, the names of the people in the pictures, a description and the neighborhood in which the party was held.

The City of Clearwater hopes you have an enjoyable block party with your neighbors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to reach out to city departments to request they visit my event?

No, once you submit your permit application we’ll reach out to the departments you requested so be sure not to leave that portion of the application blank. We do our best to accommodate as many requests as possible but due to a large volume of events, it is not always possible to accommodate each request.

Can I have alcohol at my block party?

Yes, if your event is on private property and the alcohol containers stay on private property. If you’d like to serve alcohol on publicly owned land, you must obtain a temporary alcohol license and a special events permit. Section 6.31 (4) (b) of the Code of Ordinances prohibits the possession of any opened or unsealed container of alcoholic beverage in any public park or right-of-way without the issuance of an alcoholic beverage special event permit. The city of Clearwater does not convey permission to violate that code section. For more information on alcoholic beverage special event permits, visit the a href="https://www.myclearwaterevents.com/home" target="_blank">city of Clearwater's Special Events page.

What is a site plan? How do I make one?

A site plan is a map of the area in which you’ll be hosting your event. Your site plan should label where you plan to place grills, tents, bounce houses and barricades. A site plan can be as simple as a labeled screenshot from Google maps or even something hand-drawn, as long as all of the necessary information is included.

Do I need to submit a site plan?

Yes, you would need to submit a site plan. Your application cannot be processed without one.

Do I need to purchase insurance for my event?

No, you do not need to purchase insurance for the event if your event is on private property or your homeowner's association (HOA) is already insured. If your event is on public property and your HOA does not already have insurance, you only need to purchase insurance if you have a Tier 2 event or a component of your event poses significant risk like bounce houses, mechanical bulls or alcohol in the public right of way, etc.

My neighborhood does not have insurance through our HOA but we’d like to have a bounce house at our event. Where can I purchase insurance?My neighborhood does not have insurance through our HOA but we’d like to have a bounce house at our event. Where can I purchase insurance?

You can purchase temporary insurance through the city’s TULIP program.

Do I need a Special Events permit?

Every neighborhood participating in Neighborhoods Day must acquire either a Neighborhoods Day permit or a Special Events permit. You need to obtain a Special Events permit if you plan to serve alcohol in the public right of way, have more than 250 attendees or if your event will involve food trucks. More information on Special Events permits can be found here.

What’s the difference between a Tier 1 and Tier 2 event?

There are two “tiers” of block parties established by the city: smaller scale block parties that do not include inflatable amusements (example: bounce house) or alcohol in the right-of-way (Tier 1 block parties) and larger-scale parties that include certain identified activities in the right-of-way such as alcohol consumption, cooking and inflatable amusements (Tier 2 block parties). Tier 1 events do not require insurance while Tier 2 events do.

For example: A small block party potluck with no alcohol in the public right-of-way, and a closure of a city street with small tents (10’ x 10’ and under) folding tables, and chairs set up on one side of the street to maintain a clear lane for an emergency vehicle, would apply for a Block Party Permit Tier 1.

Please use the following chart to determine what type of permit your block party will require:

Block Party Permit Tier Road Closure Use of Public Right-of-Way or Park Alcohol Insurance Required
Block Party Permit

Tier 1
None or partial closure with clear emergency vehicle access lane Exclusive use of private property or minimal impact on the public right-of-way with small tents (10’ x 10’ and under), folding tables, and chairs Exclusively on private property; no alcohol serving allowed on public property or public right-of-way** None. Few cases may require general liability insurance with the city of Clearwater listed as additionally insured
Block Party Permit

Tier 2
Closure with full use of the public right-of-way Full use of the public right-of-way for tents larger than 10’ x 10’folding tables, chairs, inflatable amusements (such as bounce houses) and alcohol service on the public right-of-way Exclusively on private property; no alcohol serving allowed on public property or public right-of-way unless a Special Events permit has been obtained** Yes. general liability and liquor (Alcohol) liability insurance with the city of Clearwater listed as additionally insured***

block party instructions 1

block party map 2