Holding Events in a Park
With dozens of parks and a variety of indoor spaces, Bismarck Parks and Recreation District (BPRD) has several options for public and private events. BPRD issues permission for a variety of public events ranging from charity fun runs to community gatherings. In addition, private events that include inflatable games, tents or canopies, food trucks, music, extra picnic tables, trail use or other special requests also require BPRD permission.
Availability & Permission Steps
- Review the event planning tips below.
- After you determine potential dates and locations for your event, call 701-222-6455 or stop by 400 E. Front Ave. to inquire about shelter/community center availability. Office hours are 7:30am to 5pm Monday through Friday. If available, we will make a tentative reservation.
- Email your event request with all the details, including date, location and contact information, to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a letter to the BPRD office.
- You will receive a written response from the BPRD office either granting or denying permission for any requests.
Event Planning Tips
Location & Date
- Securing a location and date well in advance of your event helps BPRD develop a schedule of park events with the goal of avoiding possible conflicts with other special events that may limit parking and restroom availability for everyone.
- The sidebar on this webpage provides details about reservable outdoor shelters and community centers, including space capacity, electricity, tables and chairs, and restrooms, along with park hours and rules. It may also be helpful to visit a location in advance of your event to determine if it will meet your needs.
- BPRD parks will remain open to the public during your event.
Details for Consideration
- Alcohol: If you plan to use a caterer that will provide alcohol to guests, your caterer will need to get a Special Event Permit from the City of Bismarck. An alcoholic beverage permit is also required from BPRD, whether or not a caterer is serving beverages.
- Garbage Receptacles: Each park and community center have designated trash receptacles to handle the anticipated day-to-day trash generated by that area’s use. However, the containers on site may not accommodate large events. Additional receptacles are available for rent and placement from the park district. You can also contract with a local vendor to provide large trash dumpsters for your event.
- Restrooms: Most parks, but not all, have restrooms or portable toilets. Depending on the number of people you are expecting at your event, you may need to consider renting portable toilets at your cost.
- Directions: Let participants know where to find your event by including detailed directions to your location. For example, say “Lions Park, Shelter Number Two,” not just “Lions Park.”
- Staking: Staking of any kind, such as tents and inflatables, can damage underground utilities in parks. Locating utilities by contacting ND One Call and the BPRD Operations Division is your responsibility as the event planner. You will be responsible for all costs involved in repairing any damage to utilities.
- Food Trucks: Food trucks must provide their own power source.
- Cleanup: Please do your best to keep all litter in the trash receptacles. Do NOT leave items in the park or at the facility.
Runs or Walks
- You are responsible for the race route, from where you want to start, turn around and finish to where you want water stations and volunteers. Outdoor shelters and community centers work well as registration/organizing sites.
- If you want to be on any portion of a city street for your event, contact the Bismarck Police Department at 701-223-1212 for their approval and their process.
- Please DO NOT use spray paint on the trails. Sidewalk chalk is a much better option. See our Signage and Marking Guidelines.
- BPRD will provide promotional assistance by listing your event on our website.
Permission is required to hold weddings in parks. Popular BPRD venues include:
- Joann Hetzel Memorial 4-H Building
- Municipal Country Club (managed by Lady J’s Catering)
- Sleepy Hollow Park (managed by Sleepy Hollow Theatre & Arts Park)