Special Events & Park Standards

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The City of Eau Claire desires to assist in the facilitation of special events in public spaces for enjoyment by citizens of the community as well as visitors to the community. The City of Eau Claire desires to assist with and require well managed, safe and socially redeeming events for the community. The following standards are prepared to give direction to city staff, special event organizers and managers during the planning process.

The following policies are referenced by city staff to determine the most appropriate facilities and structure for special events in public spaces.

Any obscene, lewd, indecent or otherwise offensive language will not be tolerated in public spaces by any guest, staff or visitors.

Location of Facilities
The City of Eau Claire will allow events and activities in appropriate public spaces based on the costs of using those facilities, appropriate sound, lighting, facility size, availability, restroom, electrical, neighborhood noise issues and parking capacities.

Risk Management/Insurance
Event sponsors, organizers and managers must develop written emergency action plans for issues such as employee safety, participant and facility security, crowd control, first aid, communications, coordination with law enforcement and other government agencies. The event organizers and managers will insure that the citizens of the City of Eau Claire will be protected from damage and losses to City assets. The City Special Events Committee can assist event organizers with event planning checklists.

Event Production
Event sponsors, organizers and managers must exhibit appropriate decorations, adequate maintenance, display appropriate signage, provide for transportation/access to their event, provide healthy concessions, adequate vehicle parking and possibly child care related services, as determined by city staff.

Community Scheduling
Events should be coordinated with other community activities. Too many events in one location or too many events occurring on one day, place strain on city services to adequately make events safe for event attendees and others.

Alcohol Use
Use is allowed by ordinance in four community parks: Mt Simon, Carson, Riverview and Rod and Gun Parks. Limited alcohol use in Phoenix Park is allowed only by permit and is confined to the amphitheatre and pavilion during special events and rentals, between 11 AM and sunset. Alcohol is not allowed in any of the smaller, neighborhood parks. Permits are required for amounts over one gallon per person at an event. This pertains primarily to keg events. Additional restrooms/ porta johns may be required of the event organizers for larger events where alcohol is present as determined by City/County/State Health Department codes.

Alcohol Sales
Alcohol may be sold in the five parks mentioned above, conditioned by a Temporary Class "B" picnic license and City Council approval.

Amplified Music
The use of amplified music is primarily allowed in Carson Park as it has the electrical service for large bands. Amplified music in other parks is limited by the availability of adequate electrical supply, and proximity to residential neighborhoods.

Excessive Noise
The City of Eau Claire has a noise ordinance. Violations are addressed on a complaint basis by the police department. Special events that are in violation of the ordinance may be shut down.

Hours of Operation
City of Eau Claire parks are open between 4:00 AM and 11:00 PM daily. Exceptions are made with the approval of City Council.

Restrooms/Porta Johns/Hand Washing Stations
In many park areas, there are insufficient quantities of restrooms for large crowds. In these instances, events may not be allowed or porta johns may be required to be provided by the event organizers.

Garbage and recycling containers are provided in each of our parks. If your event anticipates additional containers or disposal is needed, it is up to the event to contract with local providers.

Traffic Control
Event organizers will be given the opportunity to provide traffic control plans, however, City staff will determine the safest methods of controlling traffic during special events or may direct special events to parks that can more safely host an event. In some instances remote parking with shuttle service may be necessary.

Street Closures
Road and/or lane closures will be minimized. Street closures require City Council approval.

Excessive Consumption of City Services
When events become larger than estimated or the event organizers are unable to fulfill their responsibilities, the City may perform work such as police services or street sweeping and clean up and invoice the group for such work performed. Events may also be shut down or future events prohibited if such concerns continue.

Non-Profit and For-Profit groups are allowed to conduct events in public city spaces, with the approval of City Council. Sales of food and merchandise require City Council approval.

City staff and event managers will formally or informally evaluate special events and park users. Staff may use that evaluation information in future event requests. Event Director:
Special events shall have a lead person in charge of the event and be accessible to city staff prior to the event and accessible by the Police Department on the day of the event. That lead person will be responsible for the operation of the event and payment of all fees associated with such event.

Turf and sports surface management
City staff will determine the likely impacts of events on turf and may not allow some events in areas or facilities because of potential damage.

Food Concessions
The City owned concessions facilities are available on a rental basis, but require operators to obtain permits. Prepared food requires additional permits and approval from the City County Health Department.

Fairs/Expositions and shows, holiday celebrations, festivals and parades, cultural and heritage events, historical celebrations, seasonal events, ethnic celebrations, religious celebration, sports competitions, amateur events, spectator events, running races, walks, canoe races, triathlons, marathons, bicycling races, recognitions, award banquets, educational and scientific events, performing arts, dance, music, theatre, drama, events for a particular cause, political events, social causes, weddings, graduation parties, family or company picnics, or generally closed events for invited guests only.

Phoenix Park:
The Pavilion is capable of accommodating approximately 1000 people seated at tables, under the roof (12 sq. feet per person). Other park areas will generally be used for events (500 to 1000 people) in a concentrated area for a significant period of time. Events here should generally be completed by dark as lighting is not designed for night events and the park is close to neighborhood residents. Parking is limited especially during the workday. The park encourages bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Restrooms and electrical service is limited. Amplified music is limited. There are no picnic tables or playground equipment. Alcohol is not allowed in the park, except by permit, between the hours of 11 AM and sunset.

Carson Park:
This park is designed to accommodate large crowds and a large number of vehicles. There are fenced in areas that allow for crowd control in the two stadiums. Because the park is located away from neighborhoods it has been an acceptable site for amplified music events. Alcohol is allowed in the park, with conditions. The main parking lot at Carson, which accommodates 450 vehicles, serves both the baseball and football stadiums. There may be times when only the football or the baseball stadium, may be used.

Rod and Gun Park:
Has limited vehicle and pedestrian access because of the terrain, this park is appropriate for small events that do not require large parking areas. It is situated between a neighborhood and Half Moon Lake. There are no permanent restroom facilities and a limited electrical power source. Alcohol is allowed in the park, with conditions. Approximately 60 people can be seated at tables in the shelter.

Riverview Park:
This park is adequate for family picnics and smaller events where playground equipment and access to the Chippewa River for boating, fishing and swimming is desired. There are several shelters with limited electrical supplies. Alcohol is allowed in the park, with conditions.

Owen Park:
This park and its bandshell are suited for weddings, wedding party photos and minimally amplified music events. There is seating for approximately 1450 people. The park is adjacent to a neighborhood and is impacted by excessive noise. There are minimal parking opportunities. The park is also ideal for smaller walk/run events as the bike trail runs through the park. There are no picnic shelters in this park. Alcohol is not allowed in the park.

Mt Simon Park:
This park has two levels - one at lake level and the other on higher ground. The higher ground park is adjacent to a neighborhood and is designed for smaller family type events. This level also hosts numerous Babe Ruth baseball events, which use most of the parking in the upper lot and adjacent streets. The lower level is more conducive to special events as there are several picnic shelters, play equipment, disc golf, and a boat landing. Special events in this location should not impact access to the boat landing and boat trailer parking. Alcohol is allowed in the park, with conditions.

Wilson Park:
This heavily shaded downtown park has picnic tables and a fountain. It is appropriate for art shows, weddings, wedding photos and small gatherings. It is used as a starting and ending point for downtown parades. Alcohol is not allowed in the park.

Parade Routes:
The city has designated parade routes that were arranged to provide quality viewing areas and minimally disrupt traffic flows. There are downtown routes as well as routes that end in Carson Park in order to coincide with sporting and school events. Routes that are approximately five blocks in length, which is the most cost effective parade length to staff and control. Click here to view popular parade route maps.

Walk/Run Routes:
Event planners are encouraged to use the existing trail system, and previously used race routes, as much as possible as these routes costs less to barricade and control traffic.