With the pandemic changing the way we socialise, more and more people have looked into hosting outdoor parties and events.
One of the most popular places for people to hold outdoor events is a public park. However, there are rules and regulations about using parks for the likes of birthday parties, family fun days or charity events.
For almost every public park event, the first thing you need is permission to hold the event, which can seem like an arduous task but is actually quite straight forward.
Here is everything you need to know to get your outdoor party started...
Who to contact?
To hold an event in a public park, you will need to contact the relevant local authority to get permission.
Asked if parents looking to throw a birthday party in a public park need to apply, one local authority commented: "They will need to apply for any activity/event and meet terms and conditions."
If you are not sure which council to contact, a quick google about the park you wish to use will point you in the right direction. An example being Marlay Park, which comes under Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (DLR) County Council.
Each local authority has an office that oversees the running of parks and, in turn, permissions to use them.
In the case of DLR, permission to hold an outdoor event is at the discretion of the Parks Section and must not breach any parks bye-laws.
"The application process can take between 4-6 weeks for small events," a spokesperson for the council said.
However, this time frame isn't necessarily the case with all local authorities.
According to Dublin City Council (DCC), the time frame for applications for small events is seven days. For commercial events, applications must be submitted 10 days in advance.
In 2021, DCC had 407 applications for outdoor events. So in all cases, the best thing to do is get your application in early.
"Herbert Park, Merrion Square Park and St Anne’s Park would be quite popular for holding events," a spokesperson for DCC said.
What events are allowed?
Local authorities allow for a range of different outdoor parties and events in public parks. However, they may be subject to certain conditions.
In the case of DLR, family fun days, sports days, charity walks and runs, animal charity events, sporting events, veteran car events, art exhibitions, yoga and fitness classes are all catered for by the Parks Section.
In order to ask the council for permission for your event, you must send them your contact details, or the details of the organisation behind the event.
A summary of the event must also be included in your application. This should consist of a description of the type of event you are looking to hold, the proposed location, as well as the planned starting and finishing times. Details about the number of people expected to attend the event should also be included.
As well as contacting the local authority and sending an application with details for your outdoor event, there are also a number of other requirements that need to be met before you can go ahead.
"Many applicants don’t realise that they require insurance cover in order to hold an event," a DLR spokesperson said.
Local authorities all have different insurance requirements, so if you are looking to have a bouncy castle or catering at your party, be sure to check what insurance you need. If you are unsure about this, drop your local authority an email, and they will be able to supply you with further information.
If the party or event you're planning to hold is for commercial benefit, the local authority will also ask you to pay a levy fee.
Lastly, depending on the scale of your outdoor event, you may need to submit an event management plan, obtain Garda permission, and post signage.
However, if it's just a small family birthday party, you won't need to worry about that.
Once all that is in check, and you receive your permission from the local authority, you are good to go!