Renting city property for events


400-RHYTHM-RIBS-FESTIVALIf it will just stop raining and warm up a bit, Historic City News readers are accustomed to this time of year for outdoor activities and events leading up to the summer — Celtic Festival, Rhythm and Ribs, Romanza, various marathons, walks and runs, tournaments for fishing, volleyball, and golf.

Most of the events in St Augustine, to some degree, take place on public property and there are regulations that govern their approval — that means that you can’t just “show up” with six-dozen of your favorite friends and shut down a city street.

“A growing number of events depend on the facilities made available by the City of St Augustine and the essential support services only a municipality can provide,” Public Affairs Director Paul Williamson, whose department coordinates public events, advised reporters. “By making these facilities and services available to organizers at reasonable costs, the city supports the successful staging of events without placing an undue financial burden on public resources or diminishing the level of services the municipality is required to provide to residents, businesses and visitors.”

According to a policy provided by Williamson to Historic City News today, those publicly owned areas which are available for events are classified into three categories: venues, right-of-ways, and open use areas.

Each has location-specific requirements, as well as a number of universal requirements — like general liability insurance naming the City of St Augustine as an additional insured.

We obtained a copy of the current, updated schedule of fees charged for various popular locations around town. Although the City does not screen use of public property based on the content of, or expected reaction to, ideas and speech being presented, the City does vet the applications through the appropriate public safety agencies and public works department using a checklist that encompasses all of the expected approvals necessary to hold the event.

Application Fee (nonrefundable)



Francis Field

use fee per event day


use fee per shoulder day



Gazebo at Plaza de la Constitution

use fee per day



St Augustine Municipal Marina

use fee per day



Willie Galimore Center

Large room use fee per hour


Small room use fee per hour


Both rooms use fee per hour



Lightner Courtyard

use fee per hour (one hour limit)



Visitor Information Center

VIC use fee per day


Promenade use fee per day


Fountain Garden use fee per day



Solid waste services

Roll off – per unit


Roll-off disposal fee (based on volume)

Dumpster – per unit (includes disposal)


Trash cart – per unit



Streets and grounds services

Drop off/retrieval (per hour)



Traffic control devices (per unit)







water barricade (service personnel equipment)



Utility services

Water: initial 3,000 gallons


per additional 1,000 gallons


Electric: Francis Field, based on consumption


Public safety services


Personnel (per officer per hour, two hour minimum)


additional costs if equipment is required


Personnel (per firefighter per hour, two hour minimum)


engine unit (per hour, one hour minimum)


ladder unit


In reviewing the operations profile, the Event Review Committee will consider:

• If the site can adequately accommodate the event taking into account the site’s infrastructure, the event’s expected attendance and format (i.e. festival, concert, fair, run, parade).
• If the event coincides with other events and thus may place an undue burden on the delivery of city services to the event and/or to the community.
• If the event is in compliance with all permitting and licensing requirements from other jurisdictions, including federal, state, county and city.
• If the event may pose a public threat to residents, businesses, and visitors, not considering content of speech, message, or reaction to the message.
• How the event will impact neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity (i.e. noise, litter, traffic).
• To what extent the organizers, if responsible for a previous event on public property, adhered to city ordinances or policies or other applicable laws.
• If the event will place a undue strain on city services including those for crowd control, policing, security, parking, solid waste or traffic.
• The organizer’s demonstrated ability to manage the event.



Let us know what you think >>