Jackson, Mich. — The City of Jackson is reminding residents and event organizers of the importance of following special event procedures. When a public event is held in a City park, recreation facility or street, it’s essential to go through the approval process to secure a location for the event and protect the safety of the community.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of dozens of community events. Since the Stay at Home order was lifted, the City has seen multiple un-permitted events quickly organized and held in City parks and outdoor recreation facilities. A completed Special Event Application (PDF) must be received by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) 60 days before the event. Applications are accepted by the DDA and forwarded to other committees and departments for review before final City Council approval. All organizers are now required to include COVID-19 safety plans in their applications.

While the City understands organizers may want to quickly hold events following pandemic shutdowns, proper approval is needed to make sure events are verified and safe. “Completing the approval process ensures you get the exclusive use of City property and no one else can use the space you’ve reserved,” said DDA Executive Director Cory Mays. “It also allows you to work with the City on trash removal, equipment use, road closures, police assistance and other services if needed.”

Public art projects, such as murals, must also be approved by the City before they’re started. The Special Event Application can be downloaded from cityofjackson.org/specialevents. The special event policy only impacts events that are open to the public in City of Jackson parks, outdoor recreation facilities, and streets.

Questions about events and art projects can be directed to the Downtown Development Authority at (517) 788-4355 or cmays@cityofjackson.org.

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