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Permits, violations & licenses

Sponsor a special event

Special events include walks, parades, festivals, concerts, and more. The sponsor is the organization or individual who is putting on the event. They take responsibility for making sure that all food service operators at the event have the right licenses and certifications.


Special event sponsors must submit an application that lists the event’s food operations. Sponsors must also submit a plot plan showing the location of each food service operator.

As a sponsor, you are responsible for making sure that:

  • All food service at your event is safe and in compliance with laws about food safety and food service.
  • The Department of Public Health receives all the completed applications, paperwork, and fees from all participating food service operators.

You may need to provide:

  • Water.
  • Ice.
  • Refrigeration units.
  • Overhead protection.
  • Waste disposal.
  • Oil recycling.
  • Other services.


Completed applications and fees should be submitted 30 days prior to the event.


The fee for sponsoring a special event is $78. You may pay either by money order or credit card online once you receive an invoice. Make money orders payable to Philadelphia Health Dept. – EHS.

If you apply fewer than 15 days before the event, you will be charged a $65 late fee. Late applications may not be approved.

Fees are nonrefundable.


To sponsor a special event, you need to:

  • Complete and submit the special event sponsor application. Include a list of all food operations and a plot plan showing the location of each food service operator.
  • Verify that the food service operators at your event have submitted the appropriate applications and paperwork (e.g. food license, operating eligibility certificate) and paid the corresponding fees.
  • Submit all applications more than 30 days before the event.

The Department of Public Health will conduct inspections of all food service operators on the day of the event. The Managing Director’s Office (MDO) will bill the sponsor for these inspections. MDO provides estimates upon request.