Permit Information

Special Use Permits

Special Use Permit Guidelines

Special Use Permits are required for use of Rockford Park District property for purposes other than a picnic, attendance that exceeds shelter capacity, and/or reservations made during the off-season (October 15th-April 15th).

Common requests include bounce houses, DJs, catering, equipment rentals, walks/runs/5k’s, weddings, community events, etc. These types of activities bring a higher level of risk and therefore require the district to ensure the safety of citizens as well as protection of the district.

Please read below for important timelines that pertain to event requests. All requests can be submitted after January 2 of the year in which the event is to take place and are taken on a first come, first serve basis.


  • Community Event Requests, which are open to the general public, (i.e. carnivals, walks/runs, weddings, etc.) must be submitted no later than two months prior to the date of the event. Non-submission of these requests by the deadline will result in a $50 late fee.
  • General Park Rental Requests (i.e. bounce houses, DJs, contracted equipment, non-reservable area reservations, etc.) must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the event date. Non-submission of these requests by the deadline will result in a $50 late fee.
  • Full payment, signed permits, copies of food handling/other permits, and proper insurance coverage/documentation associated with the issuance of the Special Use Permit must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event date. Non-submission of these documents by the deadline will indicate that services are no longer needed, and the reservation will be cancelled unless other arrangements have been made.

Things to Consider

  • A certificate of insurance is required for high risk activities, caterers/independent contractors coming onto property, and for events that are open to the general public. At the time of your request Rockford Park District staff will review your request and determine if the activities requested will require a Certificate of Insurance.
  • There are specific parks in which sound amplification is permitted. Sound amplification must comply with City "Noise" Ordinances, not played excessively in sound or operated unlawfully that may cause or create any unnecessary or unusual noise at any time which annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others unless such noise is necessary for the protection or preservation of property or of the health, safety, or life of some person, not operated before 8:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m., and not played within 600 feet of any building used for residential or hospital purposes. Parental Guidance Explicit Lyrics are not allowed. The Park District reserves the right to set sound levels for all events and/or immediately revoke the approval for sound amplification, if found in violation.
  • Water is not guaranteed at the shelters before April 15 or after October 15, due to the chance of freezing temperatures.


Special Use Permits     Timeframe     Resident Fee     Non-Resident Fee
Special Use Permit w/o shelter     1 day     $120     $150
Special Use Permit + Shelter     1 day     Shelter Fee +$40     Shelter Fee +$50
Special Use Permit     Under 1 Week     $120     $150
Special Use Permit     Under 4 Weeks     $270     $300
Special Use Permit     Under 3 Months     $370     $400
Special Use Permit     Over 3 Months     $370 + $120 per additional month     $400 + $150 per additional month

Metal Detector Permits

If you like to search for buried treasure in the parks (or maybe dig up some spare change), you must first obtain a metal detecting permit from the Customer Service Office. In addition to the permit, you will receive tips on digging and replacing the hole, as well as regulations regarding the use of metal detectors in the parks.Permit Fee: $7 ($10 non-resident)

Please note metal detecting is prohibited at: Aldeen Golf Course, Atwood Park, Beattie Park, Elliot Golf Course, Ekberg-Pine Park, Ingersoll Golf Course, Manor Park, Sandy Hollow Golf Course, Sinnissippi Golf Courses, Sportscore One, Sportscore Two, and RPD leased property such as Alpine Hills Adventure Park, Harlem Community Center Sports Complex, and Standfield Beach.

Paint the Dam Permit


For the Rockford Park District to be the best urban park and recreation system in North America, as measured by national standards and the citizens we serve.


To 'help people enjoy life' by providing a quality park and recreation system.

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