Host an Event in LYH

The City of Lynchburg is home to many special events – from legacy road and trail races to street festivals and outdoor concerts to pop-up block parties. Are you looking to host an event in the City of Lynchburg?

Throughout the year dozens of large and small events are conducted on City streets, public property, parks and public facilities. Events can be as intimate as a family reunion or birthday party, or as large as the Virginia Ten-Miler! The City has many different facilities and locations, and one of them may be the right choice for your event.

The Office of Economic Development & Tourism is the starting point for special events in the City of Lynchburg. We can help you navigate the permit process! Follow the steps below to make sure you have the permit you need.

Questions? Contact us. 

Anna Bentson
Assistant Director, Economic Development & Tourism
(434) 455-4493 

COVID-19 Protocols

The City of Lynchburg is closely monitoring guidance and regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and currently following statewide guidance for all applications, including festivals, fairs or other large amusement gatherings. Executive Order 72 does allow for certain recreational sports activities and the City of Lynchburg will consider these applications on a case by case basis.

In determining special event permits and guidance for event organizers, the City of Lynchburg will follow the Governor’s current Executive Order and the Virginia Department of Labor Emergency Temporary Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention.

Executive Order 72

16VAC25-220 Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Temporary Standard

Walks, Races and Marathons

According to Governor Northam’s Executive Order 72, race or marathon organizers must stagger starts and separate runners into groups of 50 or less. 

The City of Lynchburg will require organizers to review and follow current orders and guidance and present a plan to address the following:  

  • Staging of event elements (including start/finish) to encourage social distancing (min. 6ft between individuals)
  • Visible markers for queue lines for registration, hydration, etc. that separate all volunteers, employees and participants by six feet of physical distance
  • Site plan that shows guest flow into and within the event area. Organizer should determine areas likely to become bottlenecks or pinch points and adjust guest flow accordingly.
  • Require ten feet of physical distancing between parties in all areas with physical activity or cheering.
  • If interactive exhibits or vendors are in service, post signage to discourage congregating and encourage the use of hand sanitizer.  Provide hand sanitizer stations around any interactive exhibits and/or vendors.
  • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of high contact areas and hard surfaces.
  • Where possible, install plexiglass barriers in front of commonly used point-of-sale or guest service stations.
  • Require employees, volunteers and spectators to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times.
  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide hand sanitizers.
  • Conduct screening of coaches, officials, staff, and players for COVID-19 symptoms prior to admission to the venue/facility.
  • Participants should be encouraged to bring their own hydration depending on the distance and duration of the event.  Hydration options offered on course and pre/post-race should be bottled.
  • Food and hydration items should be distributed by volunteers and not be “self-serve”. Food items are to be individually packaged.
  • Traditional elements such as entertainment, packet pickup, registration, or awards ceremony should discourage large group gatherings and maintain at least six feet of distance between participants. This should also include volunteer check-in areas and stations. This may require more tents, tables, and an increased budget.
  • Race day registration “on-site” using a community computer should not be allowed.


  • Event Waiver should include language describing the “risk of COVID”.
  • COVID protocols and expectations should be communicated to participants, volunteers, and spectators as early as possible and should include both social media, email, and event website.

What defines an event as a “special event?” 

There are several parameters that can be used to determine if an event is, and should be permitted as, a special event. If your event is to occur on City (public) property and you can answer yes to any (or all) of these questions, the event probably needs a permit: 

  • Are you expecting more than 1,000 people to attend your event? 
  • Will you be selling (or serving) alcohol at your event? 
  • Is there an admission fee of any kind to get into your event? 
  • Will your event require the use of city services? For instance, will you need streets to be closed (public works)? Will you need security (police department)? 

If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, yours is likely an Expanded Use or Special Event permit that will require insurance. If you answered “No” to all of the questions above, yours is likely a Simple Use permit and you will be directed to the Parks & Recreation Department.

Please visit our FAQ page for more information. 

Special Event Permit Process

  1. If it is determined that you will need a Special Event Permit, please read the City of Lynchburg’s Special Events Guidelines.
  2. Scope out a location– We have created a tool in GIS to help you map out your event. 
  3. Complete a Special Event Permit application.
  4. Make sure to note that new event permits must be completed 90 days in advance, and recurring event permits must be completed 60 days in advance.