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Mission & vision

The Office of Special Events (OSE) works to ensure that Philadelphia is a preferred event destination for event producers, convention planners, and visitors.


The Office of Special Events strives to be the most comprehensive and efficient municipal special event support agency in the nation.

Our office:

  • Serves as Philadelphia’s one-stop shop for special event planning, production, and permitting.
  • Promotes event industry growth through sustainable best practices and relationships with the local community.
  • Highlights the diversity of Philadelphia through special events.


Special events:
  • Bring people together.
  • Create lasting images.
  • Contribute to the diversity of Philadelphia.



OSE helps event producers with event production through in-person and remote consultations. The office delivers comprehensive customer service to:

  • Philadelphia residents.
  • Local community groups.
  • Business associations.
  • Event producers from around the world.


OSE is the primary manager of operational response to special events taking place in Philadelphia. OSE handles the review, permitting, and coordination of all proposed outdoor public events. This includes:

  • Festivals.
  • Parades.
  • Walks and races.
  • Press conferences.
  • First Amendment activity.


OSE is also responsible for preparing and executing requests for proposals (RFPs) for large-scale special events on behalf of the City. Past efforts include the 2018 NFL Draft and the Made in America Music Festival.


OSE is a vital contributor to Philadelphia’s marketing efforts and promotion of the City’s special events industry. Through OSE’s efforts, Philadelphia was named a World Festival & Event City in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 by the International Festival & Events Association (IFEA).