Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Parks

Special Events & Weddings

Looking for a special venue for your family reunion, wedding or other event?  Dane County Parks offer locations in unique natural settings including SheltersLussier Family Heritage Center, and Group Campsites.

COVID-19 Alert:  we are no longer accepting new 2020 Special Event Permit Applications. Visit our Parks Changes and Updates Due to COVID-19 webpage for a full list of Park updates. 

Starting November 2, 2020, we will be accepting applications for 2021 Special Events. Outdoor events may not exceed 25 people. Indoor events may not exceed 10 persons per room (Lussier Family Heritage Center).


When is a Special Event Permit required?

Will your event need a little extra planning and coordination on our part?  If so, it may require a Special Event Permit issued by Dane County Parks. One or more of the following criteria that may indicate a Special Event include, but are not limited to:

  • Public event (such as a walk/run; bike event, music event, fishing tournament, etc.). Once your application is approved, you can submit the event to our Events Calendar. If you have a Facebook Event invite Dane County Parks to be a cohost for the event.
  • Charging a fee for people to attend or participate in
  • More than 200 people are expected to attend (exceeding 200 does not automatically mean that it’s a special event)
  • Group campsite reservations with over 75 campers
  • Sale of food, alcohol or merchandise
  • A school event, such as a cross country meet, etc. (a shelter reservation for a school picnic would most likely not rise to the level of a special event unless a large volume of people were expected that would trigger other needs, such as mowing for parking, or special waste collection)
  • Use areas of the park other than shelters or group camps (such as trails, boat launches, open areas, etc.)
  • Use of extensive or multiple park areas
  • Use of any sound amplification device that produces excessive, loud or unusual noises
  • Use of park areas outside normal park hours (this is generally discouraged, even for special events, but there may be exceptions)
  • Require additional:
    • Parking - more than is provided
    • Waste collection (trash and recycle) than is provided
    • Mowing of areas not usually mowed
  • Require portable toilet.
  • Deviate from the Park Rules and Regulations (ex. camping in an undesignated area)

If one or more of the above criteria describe your event, please submit a Special Event Request and Park staff will contact you. Use our Special Event Price Guide (PDF) to help with planning. If none of the above criteria describes your event, please continue to our Online Reservation System to make reservations for Shelters, Lussier Family Heritage Family Center, and Group Campsites

Thank you for choosing Dane County Parks for your event. We look forward to working with you!