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Streets, sidewalks & alleys

Apply to hold a block party or street event

COVID-19 update: You can now apply for 2021 permit applications. Events must take place on May 21, 2021 or later. Permit holders must follow COVID-19 public health guidance.

You can apply to close a residential street for a block party or other event. Small street events may include birthday celebrations, serenades, weddings, and more.

Arterial streets can’t be closed for these kinds of events. If you want to hold a larger event in a business corridor, contact the Managing Director’s Office at (215) 686-3488.

Who

To apply, you must be a resident of the block where the event is being held.

Requirements

Event date and time

Each block is allowed to request up to five street events per year. Your application may contain multiple event dates.

Type of event Dates and times
Block parties Block parties may take place between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m and last up to eight hours. They can occur on weekends, approved weekdays, and the following holidays:

  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day.

Your chosen rain date must be within one week of the original event. You can’t select a rain date for a holiday block party.

Other street events Non-block party street events may last up to six hours. You can’t select a rain date on your application.

Petition

You must provide a signed petition for each event date and block.

Only one signature per household is allowed. The petitioner must be an adult and live on the block where the event will take place. Photocopies of the signatures are not accepted.

Type of event Petition requirements
Block parties Your block party petition must be signed by 75% of the households on the block. That includes 75% of any apartment complexes.
Other street events Your street event petition must be signed by 90% of households on the block. That includes 90% of any apartment complexes.

Type of street

If the street you’re requesting to close is the only entrance or exit to another street, include a petition to close that “T” street.

If the event is being held on a street without residents, submit a copy of an insurance certificate to cover the cost of any damages from the event.


Other permits and services

Depending on what you’ll offer at your event, you may need permits from the Department of Licenses and Inspections. For example, you may need a permit to:

  • Charge admission.
  • Have rides or a carnival.
  • Raise money by selling merchandise or offering services.

You should also plan for how to dispose of trash and recyclables after your event. If you’d like the Department of Streets to do a pickup before the block’s regular collection day, call (215) 537-2130. This service costs $50 and must be reserved at least five days in advance of your event.

When to apply

You should submit your application at least 21 days before the event. Late applications are subject to an increased fee.

Your application must be received and processed within five business days of the event.

Cost

The cost depends on the type of event and when it is held. It may also be affected by how early you apply.

If you’re applying for multiple events and dates, you can pay with a single check or money order. No refunds will be issued if your event is cancelled.

Type of event Cost
Block party on a weekend or holiday $25 if application received within 21 days of the event

$60 if received fewer than 21 days before the event

Block party on a weekday $150
Other street event $150

How to apply

1
Complete and submit your application.

You can choose to submit your application online or on paper. Paper applications may be submitted in person or by mail.

Applying online

If you submit your application online, it will go directly to your local police district for review. Then, it will be sent to the Streets Department for final approval.

Applying by mail or in person

If you prefer to use a paper application, you can:

  • Print an application.
  • Request an application by mail by calling the Streets Department at (215) 686-5500 or (215) 686-5502.
  • Pick up an application from the block party drop box in the Municipal Services Building concourse. Applications are also available at the offices of the Streets Department (Room 960) between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

You can mail your paper application, petition, and payment to:

Department of Streets
Highway Division, Right of Way Unit
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Room 960
Philadelphia, PA 19102

You can also put your application in the block party drop box in the concourse of the Municipal Services Building.

2
The local police district will review your request.

As part of their review, they will consider any prior police activity on the street. They’ll also check for permit violations from prior events.

You will be notified of the outcome of the police review within five days of submitting your application.

3
If the police district approves your application, it will go to the Streets Department for review and payment.

The department will consider your event’s impact on traffic and transportation. It will also look for any conflicts with construction.

4
Your application will receive final approval or denial.

Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an email with instructions for submitting payment to the City.

You should receive your permit within two weeks of your event. If your permit is not received by that time, call (215) 686-5500.

Conditions of the permit

Before the event

One day before your event, you can post signs about the street closure.

Don’t use personal vehicles to block off the street. Instead, use yellow caution tape. The City can’t provide barricades for events of this kind.


During the event

At your event, you may not:

  • Sell alcoholic beverages.
  • Offer organized gaming devices or tables.
  • Play music or make noise at a volume that violates City code.

You must allow access to the street to:

  • Commercial vehicles that are making deliveries.
  • Motorists with disabilities.
  • People who must drive on the street to conduct normal daily activities.

After the event

The street must reopen to traffic no later than 8:30 p.m.

Residents are responsible for leaving the street in a clean and safe condition. If trash and recyclables are not property secured and stored, a violation may be issued to the street event applicant.


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