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Special Event Agreement and Permit Application

To use the Marion County courtyard for a special event, fill out the online permit application or download the printable version.

Marion County takes pride in the quality and safety of the special events it hosts each year.  Marion County must continue to assure that the County’s residents and visitors are protected and therefore, we ask for your cooperation in the process.

Fill out the application accurately and completely. The online form can be found at the bottom of this page after the guidelines about special events.


  • Read the material on this page.
  • Complete and sign the application(s).
  • Complete the site plan (included with application), the indemnity agreement and other required steps for your event.
  • No sale of alcoholic beverages is allowed on the Marion County Courtyard.

Printed Application Return

Insurance and other required forms are included in this packet. Remove and return your completed forms to the Marion County Auditor, 214 E Main St., Knoxville, IA  50138. We must receive your completed paperwork at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of your event. If you are filling out the application online, please follow the instructions below to upload the required forms.



The County Board of Supervisors meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Applicants are strongly advised to attend the meeting when the application is an agenda item. Agendas are posted on the Marion County website.

General Guidelines for Special Events

Neighborhood Impact

Prior to issuing approval of the application by the Board of Supervisors, applicant must receive approval from the City of Knoxville if the event involves city property.

Permits and Licenses

The sponsor and vendors shall obtain and maintain during the term of this agreement all necessary permits and licenses for the event. In addition to the Event Application, many types of vendors are required to have additional permits from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and the City of Knoxville and are subject to inspection and restriction. Types of possible permits/licenses include event permit, alcohol license and permits for each food/merchandise vendor. This section does not require individual vendors to present a liability certificate to the County. The liability certificate is required of the event sponsor/organizer with the County named as an additional insured. It is the event sponsor/organizer’s responsibility to decide if they require each individual vendor to carry liability insurance.


The sponsor must provide sufficient and competent personnel to plan, implement and supervise activities and to take proper care of the grounds and facilities.

Statutes and Ordinances

The sponsor must agree to abide by all federal, state and municipal laws, rules and regulations.

Cleanup/Damage Deposit

The sponsor is responsible for cleanup of the site. If the event is held on County property, the sponsor must provide and maintain with the County a cleanup and damage deposit. Events with food and/or beverage sales must provide a $100.00 deposit. Other events must provide a $50.00 deposit. The Board of Supervisors may waive or modify this requirement based on the circumstances of the individual event. Damages exceeding the amount of the deposit will be billed directly to the sponsor. The deposit will be returned to the sponsor if damage or additional cleanup costs are not incurred. A check for the deposit may be issued to the County Auditor that will be held and returned at the end of the event series if it is not needed.


The sponsor must provide trash receptacles to be located in the immediate area where food and beverages are to be sold. All litter is to be picked up and removed by the sponsor. If the event is held on County property, the sponsor is responsible for the removal of all trash from the event area, including the trash in existing County-owned receptacles in the area. Non-County-owned trash receptacles must be removed when full, or on the next regular workday following the event. Other County-owned trash receptacles in the area, but not in the immediate vicinity of the food and beverage area, are not the responsibility of the sponsor unless the trash is overflowing as a result of the event.

Health Department

Food and beverage vendors are subject to inspection and restriction by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Food and Consumer Safety Bureau. Wastewater disposal must be designated on the site plan and provided by food and beverage vendors.


The City of Knoxville requires 2 portable toilets per 1000 people at non-alcohol events and 4 portable toilets per 1000 people at events where alcohol is served. If the use of Marion County Courthouse Restrooms are requested, please complete that section of the application.


The setup of tables, chairs, portable toilets, beverage and food stands, entertainment equipment, fencing, trash receptacles and all other necessary equipment must begin no earlier than the times/dates in the permit. Removal of all items and cleaning of the area must be completed no later than the date/time in the permit.

Perimeter Control

Perimeter control must be done in a manner that does not damage the grounds.

Beverage Containers

All beverages must be served in styrofoam, paper, plastic or metal containers. Glass bottles are prohibited.

Fire Code Requirements

Food Vendors using cooking appliances will be required to comply with regulations set forth in the Open Air Food Vendor Fire Safety Requirements. Any fire safety concerns or questions should be addressed to the Knoxville Fire Chief’s Office prior to the event. Fire Department inspectors may make site inspections and may add additional requirements for safety.


Free standing tents are allowed on County Courtyard. Any tent or canopy that requires stakes being driven into the ground is not allowed without the County’s permission and direction. Any damage caused by staked tents will be taken from the damage deposit and/or billed to the sponsor. When filling out the application describe the size, type, and purpose of each tent. Indicate all tent locations on the site plan and list if they are free standing or will require stakes.


Signs advertising your event may not be placed on the Courtyard grounds unless specific permission is received by the Marion County Board of Supervisors.  

Vehicles on County Property

No vehicles may be driven in the courtyard other than the designated parking lot on the east side of the courthouse.

Other Things to Consider

Is the area accessible to the disabled? The Courthouse Restrooms are not ADA compliant when the Marion County Courthouse is closed. Are there disabled-accessible parking spaces in the area? Does the site plan provide adequate pathways for patrons using wheelchairs and crutches? 

Any use of county utilities required should be listed in detail on the application for prior approval by the County Board of Supervisors.

The Marion County Board of Supervisors reserves the right to require the applicant to provide public safety personnel (private security, police, etc.).


County Department Phone Numbers

  • Board of Supervisors: (641) 828-2231
  • Auditor: (641) 828-2217
  • Sheriff: (641) 828-2247
  • Maintenance: (641) 828-2244

City and State Department Phone Numbers

  • Zoning Administrator (applications, permits): (641) 828-0550 x224
  • City Manager’s Office (correspondence): (641) 828-0550 x222
  • Knoxville Fire Department (hazmat, fire safety, EMS): (641) 828-0586
  • Knoxville Police Department (traffic control, security): (641) 828-0554
  • Knoxville Chamber of Commerce: (641) 828-7555
  • Iowa Dept. Inspections & Appeals, Food and Consumer Safety Bureau (food/beverage safety): (515) 281-6539

    1. Sponsor

    Name, address and telephone number of the individual or organization that will be responsible for holding this event.

2. Event Type

Please give a brief description of your event.

3. Event Contact Person(s)

Name, address and phone number of person(s) who can be contacted about the event and who are readily accessible. This would also be the person contacted in an emergency or if details of the event change. The person who will be the primary contact person should be listed first.

4. On-Site Contact Person(s)

The name and method of contacting this person(s) during the actual event. You must provide a cell phone number or pager number or some other method of contacting this person at all times during the event. This person is needed in the event an emergency arises related to the event.

5. Event Location

Identify the location where the event will take place. If the area has no specific borders, give as detailed a description as possible.

6. Event Date(s) and Time(s)

Specify the date and time that the event will be held.

  1. If the event will be held over multiple days and/or different times, please use the "Notes" field to explain.

7. Set up and Take Down Times

List what time the setup will begin and what time you expect takedown to be completed. Note the earliest time that the setup of tables, stages, tents, etc. will begin and the latest time/date that the items will be removed and the cleanup completed. If there is a conflict involving more than one group seeking an event during the same time or at the same place, Marion County will have the ultimate decision on which event(s) will be permitted.

8. Rain Date

If you plan for an alternate date(s) in case of inclement weather or other reasons for cancellation, please note them below.

9. Restrooms

List how many portable toilets you intend to provide and the company providing them. Be sure to specify their location on the site plan. For multi-day events, arrange for the toilets to be emptied regularly by a licensed contractor. If use of the courthouse restrooms is requested in the application, the sponsor may be charged a fee for additional staff time if the event takes place during hours that the courthouse is closed.

10. Utilites

Please list the equipment which will be used and the utilities each piece will require (attach additional page if needed).

  1. Optionally, attach a file with a complete list:

11. Security

The Marion County Board of Supervisors and/or the Marion County Sheriff reserves the right to require the applicant to provide public safety personnel (private security, police, etc.) Identify all public safety personnel (private security, police, EMS), which will be used, if any. The sponsor is responsible for maintaining perimeter control as well as site control. If a professional security company or law enforcement agency is to be used, please list the name and a contact person and telephone number.

12. Site Plan

The sponsor must provide the County with a detailed layout of the event, which shows the locations of such things as stages, tents, power and water sources, rides, food vendors, retail vendors, and portable toilets. Please attach a sketch of your site plan. Please Note: If a site plan is not attached to this application, it must be submitted in person or by mail to the Marion County Auditor's Office, 214 E. Main St., Knoxville, IA 50138.

13. Indemnity Agreement

The attached Indemnity Agreement must be signed and returned with the Application. The sponsor must indemnify and hold harmless Marion County, its agents, officers and employees from and against all claims for injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or caused by the use of County property. The sponsor must sign and return the attached Indemnity Agreement before any permits will be issued.

Download Indemnity Agreement

Please Note: If a signed indemity agreement is not attached to this application, it must be submitted in person or by mail to the Marion County Auditor's Office, 214 E. Main St., Knoxville, IA 50138.

14. Liability Insurance

The sponsor must procure and maintain in force during the event a policy of liability insurance. The certificate of liability insurance shall name Marion County as an additional insured. Please Note: If proof of liability insurance is not attached to this application, it must be submitted in person or by mail to the Marion County Auditor's Office, 214 E. Main St., Knoxville, IA 50138.

15. Damage Deposit

A damage deposit is required unless you've received a waiver from the Board of Supervisors. Please indicate the status of your deposit below.

Electronic Signature

  1. By pressing submit, application and all attached documents will be sent to the Marion County Auditor’s Office

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