Bradenton Events Overview

Important Park Information

  • Please note that there are no tables in Riverwalk Park, but small portable tables are allowed.
  • No grilling, cooking, reheating of food, food trucks, or food vendors are allowed in the park unless you have gone through an official Event Application process; however, prepared food may be brought in.
  • Open flames. including candles, are not allowed as wax damages park grounds.
  • Large inflatables, including bounce houses, are not allowed.
  • Balloon and lantern releases are not permitted.
  • Due to safety concerns, drones cannot be flown over Riverwalk Park.
  • The splash pad hours of operation are 9AM to 8PM (if weather permits). The splash pad cannot be turned off for an event.
  • The maximum tent size is 10’ x 10’ (pop-ups). Absolutely NO stakes or umbrellas can be driven into the ground to protect underground utilities. Tent weights are required.

Small Informal Events

For small, informal events (composed of 25 or less participants and which do not require electrical access, sound amplification, and/or are not using any special amenities like large tents, etc.,) such as children’s birthday parties, brief wedding ceremonies, family picnics or reunions, etc., city facilities can be used on a first-come, first-served basis. (Exception: Street closures MUST be approved by City Council.)

Please remember that for first-come, first-served gatherings, there may be other scheduled events which have been reserved for the time and space in which you are interested. These reserved events will take precedent, and you may be asked to move. Please check the event calendar for a listing of approved events.

Larger Public and Private Events

For larger events, both public and private, which require more services and for which you would like to reserve a date, time, and space, fees will vary. Also, depending upon the size of your event and the type of activities at your event, an additional damage deposit will be required which is refundable upon determination of no damage. Learn more about our Fees and Deposits.

For officially permitted events which have followed the event application process, grilling, cooking, reheating of food, food trucks, or food vendors can be allowed, but adherence to cooking policies must be maintained. All grounds must be properly protected and grease disposed of under controlled conditions. See Event Approval Standards for specific details regarding the grease policy.

* Per City of Bradenton Code of Ordinances for governing regulations. Especially, but not limited to, Chapters 1, 6, 10, 14, 38, 50, 54, 58, 62, and 70.

Possible Costs

  • A minimum of one police officer is required for each permitted event. A dollar amount per hour per officer will be charged by the Police Department. You would be informed of the number of officers required and anticipated cost prior to your event. Races require police officers at all intersections.
  • If you have tents larger than 10’ x 10’, a tent permit is required. 
  • A certificate of liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1 million is also required naming the City of Bradenton as an “Additional Insured” along with the name and date of your event. You may wish to compare pricing from various insurance companies.
  • For large events, additional port-o-lets may need to be obtained.
  • There may be a charge for Solid Waste (garbage) service and other Public Works and Utilities Services. See Fee Schedule.
  • Barricades and cones must be secured by a private vendor. 

Event Definitions

An event includes any use of a public facility by a group which could limit the normal access and use of such facility by the general public. An event may include but is not limited to:

  • Any activity involving the use of a public facility where the activity is advertised to attract participants and/or spectators.
  • Where the activity involves a planned contest involving prizes or awards.
  • Where the activity includes the advertising, display or sale of goods or services of any type.
  • Where the activity would include the placement and use of tents (no stakes), portable toilets, sales booths, temporary parking area, blocking of public rights-of-way, etc.
  •  Where the activity will have an impact on City rights-of-way or could affect public safety.
  • Activities involving gatherings where a group of individuals desire exclusive use of any public property.

Public Event

Event where a group desires exclusive use of a facility and activities are open to the general public such as festivals, tournaments, races, parades, boat shows, concerts, arts and/ or craft shows, etc.

Private Event

Event where a group desires exclusive use of a facility and activities are not open to the general public such as weddings, company picnics, family gatherings, private parties, etc. Because private events prohibit the general public from accessing a public space, a separate set of fees have been established. Private events also may require a minimum of one (1) Bradenton Police Officer to ensure the reserved space remains private.

“A” Event

Large, high impact event requiring City Council approval. Events are considered “A” events when one or more of the following are true:

  • The event will draw more than 200 people during the entire event.
  • The event is scheduled for more than 4 hours, and/or will span multiple days.
  • The event will involve the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages.
  • The event will occupy the majority of the land area in the subject park.
  • The event might place an extreme burden on City work crews because of its nature, size, or timing.
  • Off-premise directional signage is planned.
  • The event involves fencing off of specific areas.
  • The event involves an organized race. *See Race/Run/Walk Standards document for more details.

“B” Event

Small, low impact event requiring Event Review Committee (ERC) approval only. Events are considered “B” events when all of the following are true:

  • The event will draw 200 or less guests during the entire event.
  • The event will last 4 hours or less.
  • The event will not involve alcoholic beverages.
  • The event will not involve cooking, grilling, or re-heating of food, food trucks, or vendors.
  • The event will only occupy one venue of a City park, or have minimal impact on City right-of-way/property.

Important Venue Information

Public spaces are reserved on a “First‐Come, First‐Served” basis, however, the City of Bradenton has the discretion to cancel, reschedule, or change the venue for any event, in the event of an emergency. All annual events will be provided the opportunity to reserve the same dates and/or weekends of the same month for their annual event(s) up to one (1) year in advance with deposit amount determined by the Event Review Committee (ERC). If, for some reason the event cancels future event dates, cancellation must be received a minimum of six months prior to the reserved date or the reservation fee is forfeited. Information on Riverwalk venues and capacities.

  • All fishing and watercraft events must abide by all Federal, State and Local regulations and laws.
  • All park regulations and/or codes remain in effect, as stated on park signs posted throughout the parks and shall be strictly enforced.
  • Overnight camping at any City park is prohibited; however, for an approved event, a maximum of one (1) fully self‐contained recreational vehicle may be allowed overnight for security purposes.
  • Public events take precedence over private events. The City of Bradenton reserves the right to reschedule or change the venue for a private event that conflicts with a public event up to three months before the event is scheduled.