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Special Events

Planning an event on Wrightsville Beach? Planned outdoor group activities, such as weddings, sporting events, meetings, organized entertainment or celebrations on Wrightsville Beach public property require a Special Events Permit.

General Information

Permit Application Fee
The application fee is based on the number of participants, as well as spectators, expected at the event. The application fee must be submitted with your application.

1 - 25 participants =                $125.00

26 - 100 participants =            $175.00

101-199 participants =            $225.00

200 - 400 participants =          $350.00

401 - 600 participants =          $450.00

601 – 1,000 participants =      $500.00

1,001 – 2,000 participants =   $600.00

2,001 – 3,000 participants =   $700.00

3,001 – 4,000 participants =   $800.00

4,001 + participants =             $1,000.00

Portable Toilets
For events with expected attendance of 200 people or more, portable toilets must be provided by the Event Director. Portable toilets may not be set up more than 48 hours prior to the activity, and must be removed within 48 hours afterwards. Toilet facilities must be secured according to Town Ordinance 151.007. Location of portable toilets must be coordinated with the Parks and Recreation Department.

Event Director will be responsible for litter pickup of areas used. If activity is on the beach strand, any litter (boxes, etc.) that will not fit in cans must be removed from the beach strand. All food litter must be removed from the beach strand.  All plastic and aluminum litter must be recycled; use of styrofoam and glass products for serving refreshments is prohibited.  Litter subject to a $250 fine.

Obstruction of any public beach right-of-way, parking areas or public streets is prohibited. You may contact Lanier Parking at 256-5453 to purchase parking permits prior to the event.  Bob Sawyer Drive serves as a fire lane for emergency vehicles.  No structures or equipment are allowed on this roadway nor are any vehicles allowed to park or stand on this street.  Violators may be fined and/or towed.

Music - Wrightsville Beach Park and Beach Strand
Any amplified music within Wrightsville Beach Park must be set up by the picnic shelter unless otherwise approvd by the Special Event Coordinator.  Any amplified music or PA system on the beach strand must be directed toward the ocean and away from any residences.  The volume of the music must fall within limits set by Town ordinance. This ordinance will be enforced by Town of Wrightsville Beach Police and/or other Town personnel.

Tents, Banners, Stages, Nets, Etc.
Any tents, banners, stages, trailers, nets, etc. on public property, may not be set up more than 12 hours prior to the activity, and must be removed within 12 hours afterwards. If activity is in Wrightsville Beach Park, coordination of items to be set up must be made with the Parks and Recreation Department.  Per North Carolina Fire Prevention Code, tents greater than 200 square feet and open canopies greater than 700 square feet on public property require a permit from the New Hanover County Fire Marshall. And, multiple tents must be placed at least 12 feet apart.

Traffic/Crowd Control
Organizers of runs and other race events are responsible for providing traffic and/or control which shall be handled by the Wrightsville Beach Police Department.  Organizers of waterborne activities are responsible for providing adequate water safety resources to assure the safety of participants.  Depending on the nature of the event, the Special Event Coordinator, Town Manager, or the Board of Aldermen may require police assistance with traffic/crowd control, additional Ocean Resuce support, and/or Emergency Medical Services support.  Additional fees for these services may be incurred. 

No balloons may be used as part of any decorations placed on public property. All decorations (flowers, streamers, etc.) must be removed from the site immediately following the event.

Vehicles, trailers, and stages on the Beach Strand
Event organizer will be responsible for obtaining prior approval and necessary permits from the Wrightsville Beach Police Department. Permits for vehicles on the beach may be requested during the application process and coordinated with Parks and Recreation.

Vendors - Beach Strand, Park and Other Public Property
Merchandise sales or donation solicitations by a person or group for the purpose of raising money for a charity or non-profit group may only be conducted on public property with an approved special event permit.  Information concerning non-profit vending activities must be included in the special event permit application.  "For profit" vendors must be disclosed in the special event permit application and must be approved by the Board of Aldermen.  Event is limited to no more than five "for profit" vendors who must be sponsoring agencies of the non-profit organization holding the special event.  If approved, vendors must purchase a privilege license from Wrightsville Beach Town Hall Administration prior to the event.  Food vendors must also obtain a permit from the Health Department according to the agency requirements.

Fires/Cooking - Beach Strand
Town ordinance prohibits fires or cooking of any kind on the beach strand. No open flames are allowed on the beach strand including fireworks and tiki torches.

Alcoholic Beverages
Town ordinance prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages of any kind on the beach strand or any public property.

"Rain Dates"
If no "rain date" is included on the original permit request, the make up date, if any, must be approved by the Special Events Coordinator, Town Manager, or Board of Aldermen.

Surfing Events
All requests for Special Event Permits for surfing competitions must be presented to the Board of Aldermen for approval. All participants in surfing events are required to wear ankle straps (leashes) in accordance with the Town of Wrightsville Beach Code of Ordinances.
For information concerning marriage licenses, call 910-798-7758 or 910-798-7754.

Revised June 12, 2014


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Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
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