First Amendment

First Amendment Activities in the Park

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. The necessity of a permit to conduct First Amendment activities is determined by the group size.

Small Groups

A small group is defined as 25 people or less. A small group is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they are located within a park designated First Amendment site and have no more than leaflets, booklets, and/or handheld signs.
A permit is required for any small group that:

  • wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed matter outside a designated First Amendment area
  • wants to use equipment (i.e. tables, banners, platforms, etc.) even if it is within a designated area
  • is merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the 25 person maximum
  • wants to guarantee they will have priority for the use of a location, including the designated First Amendment areas

Large Groups

A large group is defined as “more than 25 people” and is required to obtain a First Amendment Permit even if they are utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.

Some examples of special events that fall under First Amendment Rules:

  • distribution and/or sale of printed matter

  • religious services
  • public demonstrations or assemblies, etc

Type of activities not considered first amendment include, but are not limited to:

  • church picnic or social gathering
  • wedding ceremonies or receptions
  • political fundraiser or other invitation-only political activity or event
  • community parades, athletics or sporting events
  • sale of message bearing clothing, arts and crafts or similar merchandise

Designated First Amendment locations:

  • Arlington Lawn (center area)*

  • Bathhouse Row Sidewalk –continual movement only*

  • The Promenade - continual movement only*
  • Front of Administration Building on Reserve Street – maximum 25 participants*

*Parking for participants is limited, shuttling of guests may be required

There are no permit fees associated with First Amendment permits.
Please email the Special Use Permit Office for more information about permits, designated First Amendment sites, or the application process.

First Amendment Activity Permit Application

Please ensure that you have read the First Amendment activity guidelines and are familiar with the First Amendment activity locations. You will need to download, fill out, and return the permit application to the park.

First Amendment Activity Permit Application (Word doc.)

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Permits & Reservations

Need a permit for a special event? Or a research permit? Learn more here.

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Laws & Policies

Know the laws and policies before coming to the Park.

Last updated: September 30, 2021

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Mailing Address:

101 Reserve Street
Hot Springs , AR 71901


501 620-6715

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