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Posted on: August 2, 2019

Release of a New Special Events Grant Application Process

Community Special Event Sponsorship Program

In an effort to provide support for non-profit organizations providing community special events, the City is pleased to announce that a new Community Special Event Sponsorship Program has been established.

The City of Watsonville welcomes and celebrates special event opportunities throughout the city that benefit our community.  We recognize that special events make significant contributions to the overall quality of life for residents and visitors.

Accordingly, the City of Watsonville is pleased to announce that a new Community Special Event Sponsorship Program has been established that will provide clear guidelines and a dedicated funding source to support non-profit organizations with special events that benefit the community at large. 


The special event application process, is funded annually through the City’s Social and Community Service grants. The Special Event Grant process establishes defined goals, criteria, and metrics to apply for funding from the City of Watsonville in support of community-wide special events.  This new process will provide transparency and accountability for the use of public funds.


For the first year of this program (Fiscal Year 2019-2020), the application period will occur in August 2019 for events taking place during the current fiscal year (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020). A mandatory pre-application meeting for all applicants will be held on August 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm in the Civic Plaza Community Room located at 275 Main Street, 4th Floor. For subsequent fiscal years, applications will be released in January. 


In evaluating the priority of the applications, preference will be given to events that tie the community together, address City Council priorities, contain an education component and promote Watsonville and/or engages in economic benefit to the City of Watsonville.  Please visit www.cityofwatsonville.org to view the Community Special Event Sponsorship Program guidelines and policies and to download an application. For additional questions or concerns, please contact the Parks and Community Services Department at 831-768-3240.


The Special Events Unit is responsible for:

  • Processing special event applications, and
  • Organizing a number of community-wide special events. Click on the links to the left for more information.

Special Event Permits

A special event permit is required for events that:

  • use city property such as streets, parks, buildings, etc.
  • are open to the public; and or 
  • have entertainment: singing, dancing, DJ, Choir, etc; and or
  • use sound amplification such as a micro-phone, stereo; and or 
  • that are a parade, march or procession, and or
  • require street closures or will impact traffic.

For information on fees, requirements, and available locations, refer to the Special Event Brochure found below.

 Special Event Brochure

Special Event Application  


To apply for a special event permit, submit a completed Special Event Application found below and return it to the Parks and Community Services Department customer service office at 231 Union St. Watsonville, 95076 or email it to Israel.tirado@cityofwatsonville.org.


Call for Applications for Community Special Event Sponsorship Program

The City of Watsonville recognizes the value of partnering with other agencies and organizations in providing services that benefit the community and its residents. In an effort to provide support for organizations providing community special events, specific guidelines have been established for determining when City fees may be reduced or waived and when an event may be considered for sponsorship (see “Community Special Event Sponsorship Program Policies”). In order to request sponsorship or a reduction or waiver of fees, the application below must be completed and submitted with the necessary documentation. 

We are currently accepting applications for events occurring July 1, 2019 - June 30 2020. Applications are due August 23 at 5:00pm

Call for Applications
Application for Community Special Event Sponsorship
Community Special Event Sponsorship Policy

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