Special Events at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (NHS)
The following is general information for holding special events at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the U.S.. National Park Service. For more information or questions Email Special Park Use Coordinator Eva Dodd or call 360-816-6241 to discuss your proposed activity. Visit the Commercial Filming page if you are interested in Fort Vancouver NHS as a location.
The units of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site are home to nationally significant landscapes, historic structures, and settings that can be ideal venues for a variety of special activities such as picnics, ceremonies, and family and group gatherings.
Special events can provide a unique, intimate opportunity for visitors to connect to this National Park and understand why it is considered so special as to be one of just over 400 sites in the National Park System--America's Best Idea.
Process & Guiding Principles
The process for obtaining permission to hold a special event in a national park requires a permit. The permitting process begins by downloading the Permit Application and submitting it to Park Staff with a $100 non-refundable application fee. The application can also be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment can also be made with a debit/credit card by calling the payment center at (360) 816-6244. An application form can be obtained in person at Pearson Air Museum.
All applications are reviewed by park staff on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that applicants' needs are balanced with park efforts to allow a national park experience for all visitors while also preserving the park for the enjoyment of future generations. When a special use permit is issued to establishes the date, time, and location of the activity and includes any additional costs and conditions of use, based on the event type and location.
The most successful special events are those that are small in size and scale (fewer than 300 participants) that use the park's designated locations as the setting. Examples of appropriate special events include weddings at the Bandstand, group picnics at the Great Meadow, and meetings, celebrations, or change of command ceremonies in the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum.
Some activities--such as the sale of food, drink or merchandise, the charging of a separate public admission fee, and activities that could be harmful to the environment or historic site--are prohibited in national parks. A Special Park Use coordinator will work with with all applicants on a case-by-case basis to make sure your proposed activity fits the national park setting, so please be sure to contact park staff as early as possible.
The metro area is home to many local, county, regional, state, national, and privately-owned venues suitable for special events. With that in mind, large events, such as concert and festival-style events, may be better suited to these numerous other community resources.