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File #: 24-1402    Name:
Type: Written Report Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 9/6/2023 In control: City Council Legislative Meeting
On agenda: 9/23/2023 Final action:
Title: Public Hearing, Consideration and Approval of Updates to the Special Events Policies and Procedures.
Attachments: 1. 23-1106_Attachment 1_Special Events Policies and Procedures Manual - FINAL DRAFT, 2. 23-1106_Attachment 2_Redline Draft_Special Events Policies and Procedures Manual, 3. 23-1106_Attachment 3_Special Events Policy Revisions - Proposed, 4. 24-1402_after item

City of Alexandria, Virginia






DATE:                     SEPTEMBER 11, 2023


TO:                                          THE HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL


THROUGH:                     JAMES F. PARAJON, CITY MANAGER   /s/





DOCKET TITLE:                     


Public Hearing, Consideration and Approval of Updates to the Special Events Policies and Procedures.




ISSUE:  Consideration and approval of updates to the Special Events Policies and Procedures.


RECOMMENDATION:  That City Council:


(1) Receive the updated Special Events Policies and Procedures;

(2) Schedule a public hearing on the special events policies and procedures on Saturday, September 23, 2023; and

(3) Adopt the Special Events Policies and Procedures after the public hearing.


BACKGROUNDThe City of Alexandria is committed to facilitating a wide range of special events that highlight the diverse communities within the City and on January 23, 2010, City Council approved the City’s Special Events Policies and Procedures.


In order to ensure that all events are conducted in a safe and orderly fashion, weighing the social and economic benefit of the event with the general public’s well-being, oversight for all special events is the responsibility of the Special Events Committee. This committee is a formal group made up of various City departments that support and regulate special events. The underlying framework the Special Events Committee uses in its review of special event applications are the approved policies and procedures.


DISCUSSIONThe purpose of updating the Special Events Policies and Procedures is to:

                     Update information that is no longer relevant

                     Ensure that the policy supports both event organizers and City agencies, and

                     Separate items that are policy (which require City Council approval) and guidelines (which can be updated as needed)


Since 2010, many City practices related to special events have changed and are no longer supported by the Policy. Changes and revisions to the Policy include: 


                     Eliminate the provision of no more than one event every other weekend in Old Town;

                     Clarify language about cost sharing;

                     Eliminate language about notice of intent “not less than 90 days” and state all special event applications should be received 180 days in advance to ensure enough time for review and staffing;

                     Eliminate language related to City financial support and sponsorship to align more with current practices;

                     Add Language to support assemblies, protests, and rallies; and,

                     Eliminate specific fees whenever listed since these are updated annually.


A full list of edits is available on Attachment 3 (Special Events Policy Revisions - Proposed).


Currently, Special Event applications are submitted through the City’s Apex system and as part of the review process, applicants receive a cost estimate within 30 days of submitting a completed application. This cost estimate helps event organizers with the scope and scale of their event.


As part of the process for editing the Special Events Policies and Procedures, staff met with multiple event organizers, community organizers, and commissions as well as discussions with the Special Events Committee and the various department representatives. The proposed changes have been shared with the Old Town Civic Association.


FISCAL IMPACTNone. Event organizers are responsible for direct costs related to their events.



1.                     Special Events Policy & Procedures DRAFT

2.                     Special Events Policies and Procedures DRAFT Redline

3.                     Special Events Policy Revisions - Proposed



Emily A. Baker, Deputy City Manager

Diane Ruggiero, Deputy Director, Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities

Corey Beidleman, Special Events Permit Manager