Application for Rental of South Bend Parks

The Department of Venues Parks & Arts (VPA) is pleased to work with you on hosting your special event in one of our parks. A SPECIAL EVENT is generally defined as an event, whether public or private, using a significant portion of the park or a publicly promoted activity designed to draw 50 or more people. Single picnic pavilion rentals or athletic field reservations are not treated as special events. Please call (574) 299-4765 or visit to reserve a pavilion or field. While some parks are better suited for events than others, most parks can accommodate various sizes of special events. Our Events Coordinator is available to help decide which park may be best for your group, including available amenities and dates.

Looking to request use of certain resources or apply for a scholarship to get a reduced rate?
Please fill out our Resources/Scholarship Application

Event requests must be submitted no more than 12 months in advance and no less than 45 days in advance to be considered for park use.

If you would like to hire food vendors for your event, they need to first be approved by the Health Department . Please ask your food vendors to fill out theSt. Joseph County Department of Health Temporary Event Plan and Review Form

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Non-commercial events that are primarily for the benefit of the community at large. If an event charges a fee for admission (for vendors or attendees), it will automatically be considered either private or commercial use.

Any event that is outside commercial use definition, but primarily private. Examples could include weddings, family reunions, organizational picnics, ticketed events, etc.

Any of the following could qualify an event as commercial use: For-profit event, non-resident entity, 1,000+ attendees, major infrastructure setup (large tents, staging, etc.), food & beverage sales/catering, multiple vendors, or any other use deemed commercial by the VPA Executive Director or Board of Parks Commission.

The above rates are for a single day event, lasting up to 8 hours. Setup and tear down are expected to occur in the same day as the event. Multiday events will be subject to additional usage fees. The Department of Venues Parks & Arts reserves the right to assess additional fees for events that require a significant use of city resources or result in atypical wear and tear to the park property.

SCHOLARSHIPS: The Department of Venues Parks & Arts has a limited amount of resources available to scholarship events by offering discounted fees. To qualify for a discounted, scholarship rate, you must submit a completed scholarship form at the time of application. These are available on a first-come/first-served basis for events that help positively influence VPA’s impact drivers. In general, scholarships will be capped at a 50% discount.

DEPOSIT: A minimum 10% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of application. Payment can be made by credit card online at or over the phone by calling 574-299-4765. Check and cash payments can be made by visiting Howard Park Event Center, 219 S. St. Louis Blvd, South Bend, IN 46617.

EXCLUSIVITY: Exclusive access to an entire City of South Bend parks is not guaranteed. In some instances, it is not possible to restrict public access to various amenities, including parking, restrooms, playgrounds, water features, or bodies of water.

SECURITY: As part of the application process, the VPA Events Coordinator will help determine mandatory security requirements to help keep your event safe and logistically sound.

RENTAL AGREEMENT: Please review rental agreement for all insurance, liability, and other park use policies.

Section 1: Applicant Information

(Street, City, State, Zip)