Special Event Permits

Canyon Lake is an active and vibrant community that is home to many social clubs and non-profit organizations. According to Chapter 11.25 of the Canyon Lake Municipal Code, a special event permit is required for any event or planned occurrence in the City that may attract 50 or more people.

Such restrictions are in place to maintain the overall health and safety of the citizens of Canyon Lake. This includes the safety of attendees at special events as well as potential risks to the entire community. Overall, the City aims to ensure events in our community do not become a hazard to the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare, or may become a public nuisance to the community.

Events held at the amphitheater, golf course or another privately owned facility used for public gatherings and events (e.g., Lodge, Country Club, Senior Center, etc.) do not require a special event permit through the City as long as these facilities are being used for their designated purpose.


Special Event Permit Tiers

There are five tiered levels of Special Event Permits offered by the City. Applicants are asked to select the appropriate tier for their event based on the following criteria:

    • Private Event (invitation only, not open to the community or public), or
    • Public Event (no invitation required, open to the community or public), and
    • Expected event attendance at any given time (not cumulative), and
    • Proposed event location.

 *Examples of events provided are for reference purposes only. Your individual event circumstances may warrant the event being categorized into a different tier after staff review of your application. 




To secure a Special Event Permit, the event sponsor must complete a Special Event Permit Application by clicking on the desired image to apply. All applications (excluding a “Minor” permit) must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event. Public events that serve food or alcohol are also required to obtain and submit the necessary permit/licenses to the City as part of the application process (see “Outside Approval Requirements”).

The City does allow for some exceptions, such as a fee waiver, for non-profit organizations that are engaged in charitable or public benefit purposes whenever those purposes benefit the City or its citizens. On June 14, 2023, City Council approved a Special Event Permit fee waiver for non-profit organizations for the remainder of the calendar year. To qualify, the non-profit must be an established 501c3 organization, must be in compliance and active with the Secretary of State, and must have an active Canyon Lake Business License.

Insurance Requirements

Public events (Tier 1B – Tier 3) are required to submit a Certificate of Insurance (COI) and the policy’s Additional Insured Endorsement demonstrating the applicant has the following minimum requirements for hosting a special event (as noted, this is only for public events):

    • General liability policy limits no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage.
    • The policy shall be issued by an insurance company permitted to do business in the State of California.
    • City shall be named as additional insured and listed as follow, The City of Canyon Lake, its officers, agents, and employees; 31516 Railroad Canyon Road, CA 92587. Please discuss with your insurance representative and be sure to provide the “Additional Insured Endorsement” policy page in addition to the COI.

By completing a special event permit application, the applicant officially indemnifies the City, officers, employees from any claim arising out of the special event. 

Business License Requirements

If the special event offers vendor booth spaces and opportunities, any vendor that is selling goods or services is required to have either a Single Day Vendor Permit or Annual Business License with the City of Canyon Lake. For more information, please go to www.canyonlakeca.gov/businesslicense. 

Outside Approval Requirements
    • Approval for any event is required from the property owner if the property owner is not the applicant (i.e., Canyon Lake Property Owners Association for common areas inside of the gates, Merchants Association for the Towne Center, Private Property Owner, etc.). Proof must be provided to the City as a condition of approval prior to the issuance of a special event permit.
    • Public events serving or selling food are required to secure permits from the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health based on their special event guidelines. All permits must be submitted to the City as a condition of approval prior to the issuance of a special event permit.
    • Public events serving or selling alcohol are required to secure a license from the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC). If applicable, a license number must be submitted to the City as a condition of approval prior to the issuance of a special event permit.
Approval Process of Special Event Permit Application

Once an application is submitted online to the City, staff will begin the review process. Based on the event details, the application will be routed to the appropriate departments for review and input. After reviewing the application, City staff will either indicate that there are corrections and/or comments to be addressed or issue Conditions of Approval for the permit. If there are corrections and/or comments, staff will reach out to the applicant to resolve these issues.

This could include corrections to the application or submittal of additional information such as a health permit. Staff will determine how best to address any comments or corrections. Once all requirements are met, an approval letter and conditions of approval for the event will be provided to the applicant officially authorizing the applicant to proceed with the event.


Violations Associated with Special Events

If the City is made aware that an event occurs without an appropriate permit, the City may issue an administrative citation to any person responsible for the violation with fines of up to $500. In addition, the County Sheriff, City code enforcement, Fire Department or building official has the authority to stop or prevent any immediate threat to the public health or safety, or any special right to issue a cease-and-desist order for all or any part of the special event or any special event, if necessary. Violators may include not only those staging the street or special event but also any person knowingly participating in the event after being advised of its illegality.