Special Events

The National Park Service (NPS) is dedicated to conserving unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. Gatherings and commercial activities in national parks often require a special use permit to ensure park spaces are used according to their purpose. Permits allow the park to maintain public health and safety; protect environmental or scenic values; protect natural or cultural resources; allow for equitable allocation or use of facilities; or avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent and is based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.

Examples Of Activities That May Require A Special Event Permit

  • Any activity that disturbs the ground

  • Organized events (for example, car shows, reunions, scouting activities, gender reveals, sports)

  • Celebratory gatherings

  • Ceremonies

  • Festivals

Spaces Available With A Special Event Permit

Permits may be issued to use park grounds and other outdoor areas of Chamizal National Memorial except the amphitheater stage structure. Permitted spaces include:

  • Paved esplanade along the front of the Cultural Center

  • Parking areas

  • Lawn areas, including the “bowl” around the amphitheater

  • Concrete pad on the ground in front of amphitheater stage

  • Picnic areas

  • Spanish Garden



Special Use Permits will not be issued for federal holidays or other federal or park closures. (Does not apply to First Amendment permits.)

The amphitheater stage is not a permitted space. Permittees using the concrete slab in front of the stage, “bowl” lawn surrounding the stage or other permitted spaces may not use the amphitheater stage or set up event elements on the stage.

Park utilities are not available for public use and will not be included in a permit.The park does not rent equipment.

Requirements With A Special Use Permit


The NPS pursuant to Title 54 US Code 103104 is required to recover all cost associated with non-First Amendment special use permits including application processing cost, staff cost and/or repairs to park land.

At Chamizal National Memorial, the non-refundable special use permit application fee is $160. The nature of the requested activity will determine additional fees.

Liability Insurance

Insurance may be required for certain permitted activities: Chamizal National Memorial will require insurance for permits that request to build temporary structures, lighting trusses, set up of equipment, possible commercial or non-commercial filming, and other activities management deems necessary.

The certificate of insurance

  • Will be issued by a United States company in the name of the permittee, not the applicant.

  • Must list the United States as an “additional insured” on the face.

  • Must list Chamizal National Memorial on the certificate as the certificate holder.

  • Must have a minimum of $1 million per occurrence or $1 million aggregate.

  • Must be received by the park, along with its endorsement page, by the date listed in the permit conditions—at least 15 days before permit activity begins. Electronic certificates are accepted.


Depending on the type and scale of the activity, a surety bond may be required. A surety bond is a policy obtained by the permit holder from a company that guarantees payment by the company for financial obligations up to a certain amount. For the park to recover an award, the request is processed in a similar manner to an insurance policy.

Advance Planning

Activities that require a permit may not take place until a permit has been issued. Applications will be evaluated in a timely manner. However, the more complex the request, the more time it may take the park to evaluate the request. Please plan accordingly.

We will issue a permit of written denial within ten days of receiving a complete and fully executed application for demonstrations or for sale and/or distribution of printed matter and other message bearing items.

Applications may not be accepted more than one year in advance of the date of the permitted activity.

Applying For A Special Use Permit

  1. Download the Special Use Permit application form.

  2. Email the completed application form to cham_permits@nps.gov. A complete application includes full name, contact information, social security or tax identification number, and signature. An incomplete application will not be processed.

  3. The Park’s special use coordinator reviews your application to verify if it is complete. Then you will receive a notification to submit the $160 non-refundable application fee through Pay.gov.

Once the nonrefundable payment is recieved the park’s special use coordinator will contact the applicant to discuss additional requirements and terms of the permit. Permits may be subjected to additonal cost recovery.

Last updated: April 2, 2024

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800 South San Marcial Street
El Paso, TX 79905



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