Special Event Permits

The City of Lincolnton supports outdoor venues for special events, including festivals, shows, performances, and programs. 

All special events are subject to approval based on the availability of city support services and associated costs according to the current city fee schedule.  The City will provide baseline support services for approved Signature Community Events up to the projected cost according to the annual fee schedule. The event organizers are responsible for support services that exceed the baseline city costs.

The city issues permits for approved community events: 

  • Approved events must have broad community benefits for both residents and merchants, helping to create a vibrant community, adding to the quality of life, and contributing to regional, and state tourism & reputation. 
  • All event sponsors must be a non-profit organization benefitting the City of Lincolnton residents. Sponsors may also partner with bona-fide non-profit organizations to provide community benefit.
  • Not all events will be approved; new events may be proposed without any guarantee of approval
  • An online event application is required for each event request. No paper or written requests will be considered.
  • City-sponsored & approved community/public events receive city services as an “in-kind” donation to support the event. In-kind services include street closures & barricades, sanitation & garbage roll-outs, public safety services from LPD /LFD, and clean-up with organizer volunteer assistance.
  • Signature Community Events – Events Pre-Approved to receive in-kind support services:
    • MLK Parade 
    • Alive After Five concert series
    • Lincolnton Food Wine & Brew Fest
    • Juneteenth Celebration
    • Cruisin’ for a Cause
    • Veterans Day Parade
    • Antique & Vintage Market Day
    • Apple Festival
    • Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting
    • Apple Drop

All other events are subject to approval and associated event charges per the City Fee Schedule. All events must adhere to the City of Lincolnton Special Event Policy.

Runs & Races:

  • Run/Race/Walk Application - Use the online special event request form to obtain a permit.
  • Must use approved race routes; no major street/road closures allowed; rail-trail use encouraged.
  • Organizers must use volunteers to ensure route safety; the city can provide cones & supplies but will not staff streets & intersections.
  • No police escort unless the organizer hires & pays off-duty law enforcement directly.
  • No EMS/EMT or other on-site support services are provided unless the organizer hires/pays for services directly.

Food Truck Permits:

Food trucks are not allowed on public property in the city limits without a special event permit submitted and approved in advance. This includes city streets, city parking lots, city parking spaces, city parks, etc. (Food Truck Policy pdf)

  • Merchants may submit a special event permit request for food trucks to be located on public property adjacent to their business or private property including:
    • specific parking spaces (in front of or adjacent to a downtown merchant) or
    • limited street closure for adjacent property (only available on East Water, East Church, or East Sycamore; not available on Main Street or side streets. Other city streets may be approved for closure based on staff review).
  • Only one event per merchant per month, unless approved by staff review due to extenuating circumstances.
  • One lane of any street closure approved must remain open for emergency access.
  • Merchants must provide event liability insurance or name the City of Lincolnton as an insured entity per the requirements of the special event request.
  • Applicable fees per the current fee schedule must be paid for cones, barricades, & street closures before a permit is approved. 

Checklist for Events

Here's a quick list of the steps needed for a successful event in Lincolnton, NC!

  1. Click on this link to submit a Special Events Permit Application - the earlier the better. This is required a minimum of 45 days prior to your event and should be submitted as early as possible in your planning, even if you are still working out some logistics. This starts the process of reserving your date and coordinating city services to support your activity. All requests must be submitted online; no paper or written requests will be considered.
  2. EVERY event should have a Special Events Permit Application submitted. Even if you don't think you will need city services like road closures, garbage collection, or police security, the event application makes sure everyone is aware of your activity.
  3. All events are subject to, and must follow the City of Lincolnton Special Events Policy.
  4. The Special Events Permit places your event or activity on the community calendar.
  5. If your event will close or impact traffic on Main Street (NC27) you will need a NC Department of Transportation Event Request and approval. We generally manage this process for you, including letters of support, submitting the request and supporting documents to NCDOT, and any other communications. However, the NCDOT form can take some time, so make sure this is considered early in your process.
  6. If you will sample, serve, sell or have any beer, wine or alcohol at your event, you must have an ABC permit from the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. You will also need a formal contract with the City of Lincolnton for this activity, which must be approved by the City Council and will be completed and signed after your Event Permit is approved.
  7. You must have liability insurance for your event; Lincolnton and NCDOT require General Liability, Each Occurrence: a minimum amount of $1,000,000. The City of Lincolnton must be named as an additional insured party for your event. If the event will close Main Street (NC-27), the State of North Carolina and the NC Department of Transportation must also be named as additional insured parties.
  8. Depending on the type of event, you may need to have a release waiver for participants. This is generally true for fun runs, 5K's, and other race or athletic events.
  9. Other things to consider - Will you need Port-a-Cans? Public address or other sound system? Stage platform, lighting, or other stage equipment? The city does not provide these items and you will need to rent them directly from independent vendors. We can refer you to vendors if you need suggestions.
  10. Reminder - City ordinance prohibits pets/animals at all events, so be sure to communicate this to your participants. 
  11. Fees – Based on the size/scale and number of anticipated attendees there may be additional fees for services provided by the city. Please see the city's current Fee Schedule for details on how fees are calculated and charged.

If you have questions or need help, call or email and we'll be happy to help!