Special Events

Special events such as sporting events, car cruises, celebrations, ceremonies, concerts, fairs, festivals and other activities that require some degree of management are activities that fall under the category of privileges and require a special use permit.

How to apply

Individuals or organizations interested in applying for a special use permit may first contact the permits office at 231-326-4741 to discuss their event proposal.

To apply for a permit a special use permit application must be submitted with a non-refundable, $50.00 application fee.

The preferred payment method is through pay.gov.

Payment may also be submitted by Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card or by personal check made payable to the National Park Service.

If you submit your application by e-mail, do not include credit card information on the application.

The information on the application will be used to evaluate the impact of the proposed activity on park resources and visitors.

Applicants are encouraged to attach maps, diagrams, or other information to assist in evaluating the application.

Allow at least 10 business days for processing.

Requests involving multiple locations, complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will take longer to process.


The cost to process and accommodate the permitted activity varies based on the complexity of the project.

The fees to be paid by the permit holder will be indicated on the draft permit and must be paid before the permit is approved.

If it is determined that a monitor (NPS employee) is to be assigned to your project, there will be a minimum fee of $50.00 per monitor per hour.

Permit conditions

All permits will contain General Terms and Condition, and Park Specific Conditions that are based on the requested activity.

In most cases, as a condition of the permit, special park use permit holders will be required to carry Commercial General Liability Insurance with a rider stating that the United States Government and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is named as additionally insured.

Insurance amounts may vary depending on the complexity of the project as well as risks. Some projects may require a performance bond or cash deposit to ensure that the natural area or historic feature is not damaged in any way, and to cover any unpaid costs incurred as part of the project.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Attention: Special Use Permits
9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630

For more information or to request a permit application send an email to Dawn_Majewski@nps.gov or call (231) 326-4741.

Last updated: December 15, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630


(231) 326-4700

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