Planning a Special Event
From nonprofit galas and civic celebrations to funky festivals and family gatherings, the Sonoma Plaza and Depot Park create an unforgettable backdrop for the memories of a lifetime.
See the events calendar for a list of currently approved events as well as a list of annual events that have a date preference but are not yet shown in the confirmed event calendar.
For park usage restrictions and details on planning an event please contact Lisa Janson.
The Sonoma Plaza and Depot Park are available for rental seven days a week, with special restrictions during certain periods of time. Both parks are divided into rentable sections and depending on your needs can accommodate events ranging from 30 people to several thousand. Each section has its own unique appeal and use. Most of the City's other parks are available on a first-come-first-serve basis unless the park has been reserved in advance for a special event. Find additional facilities for rent or reservation for information on other local event venues.
Special Events Policy
The purpose of the Special Events policy is to set rules and processes that will guide City Staff in seeking an appropriate balance between the benefits of organized events and their associated impacts on the community.
The Use Application for large scale events must be submitted at least 120 days in advance and no more than one (1) year in advance of event date. For small scale events, those events taking less than 8 hours from set-up to tear-down the application needs to be submitted twenty-one (21) days prior to the use date. Please be sure to view the Special Events Calendar to ensure the space is available the day and time you are requesting.
The Special Events Manager will follow-up once the application is received, fees will be calculated and a check payable to the City of Sonoma will be requested. Once the completed application and fees are received the review process begins. If you submit an application but do not submit an application fee, your application will not be reviewed. Please fill out the application form according to your event location.
Submit Plaza and Depot Park Use Permits Online
The City of Sonoma has launched a new online permit tool that allows Plaza and Depot Park Use Permits to be submitted and processed online. Street Use Requests, Reservation of Parking, and the Possession and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages permits are all also now part of the online permitting tool, eliminating redundancy and saving applicants valuable time. Please follow the steps below:
- Go to the Online Permits Portal
- When the page loads, please scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see Special Events and Other Special Permits & Applications.
- The bottom of the page allows you to click on Plaza Use Application or Depot Park Use Application.
- Complete the permit online.
- The online tool will ask you to upload a series of documents that are required to complete your permit. If you are not ready to upload documents you can always pause and save changes and come back to the form when the documents are ready to be uploaded.
The Application Process
The application will be reviewed after completing the use application and paying the application fee. Please note that completing the application and paying the fee does not guarantee approval of your event. Each Use Application requires the following additional documentation:
- Site Plan
- Event Narrative
- Security Plan
- Proposed Budget
- Event Time Line
- Waste Minimization Form
The Special Events Manager works with public safety and the City's public works department to review applications. The overall process can take 2-4 weeks depending on the event requirements.