Special Events Liquor Permit

Colorado law requires that a liquor license be issued for the sale and/or service of alcohol to members of the public. In addition, a liquor license is required for an event open to the general public that will include the sale/service of alcohol. A completed application and required supporting documents must be filed with the Town Clerk’s office. Staff will process the application. A public hearing may be held before the Local Liquor Authority.

Pursuant to the Colorado Liquor Code a “Special Event Permit” may be issued to an organization that:

  • is a nonprofit agency (must file proof of nonprofit status); or
  • is a regularly established religious or philanthropic institution; or
  • is a state institution of higher education;
  • a political candidate who has filed the necessary reports and statements with the Colorado Secretary of State; or
  • a municipality, county, or special district.

There are two types of special event liquor permits:

  • Malt, vinous, and spirituous liquor (state fee $25/day)
  • Fermented malt beverages (state fee $10/day)

The application should be submitted no later than 60 days before the event. No Public Hearing will be scheduled until the required documents have been filed and all fees paid in full.

The Town Clerk’s office will publish the Notice of Event 10 days prior to the event in the local newspaper and will provide the event manager the public hearing sign. The event manager needs to post the public hearing sign at the event site for 10 days prior to the event and will take a photo of the sign.

Colorado Liquor Code

The Liquor Code provides the following:

  • special event permit shall be issued for a specific location and is not valid for any other location;
  • special event permit authorizes the sale of beverage or the liquors specified only during the following hours:
    • between 5 a.m. the day of the event for a malt beverage license and until 12 a.m. (midnight) on the same day:
    • between 7 a.m. the day of the day specified in a malt, vinous, and spirituous liquor permit and until 2 a.m. of the day immediately following;
  • no special event permit shall be issued for more than 15 days in any calendar year;
  • sandwiches or other food snacks shall be available during all hours of service of malt, spiritous or vinous liquors, but prepared meals need not be served;
  • the state or local licensing authority may deny the issuance of a special event permit upon the grounds that the issuance would be injurious to the public welfare because of the nature of the special event, its location within the community, or the failure of the applicant in a past special event to conduct the event in compliance with applicable laws;
  • public notice of the proposed permit and of the procedure for protesting the issuance of the permit shall be conspicuously posted at the proposed location for at least 10 days before the hearing with the local licensing authority.


Every licensee shall fully comply with all provisions of the Colorado Liquor Code and local liquor regulations.

  • No person under the age of 21 years shall possess or consume alcohol at any event.
  • Sale/service of alcohol to an underage person or a visibly intoxicated person may result in the suspension or revocation of a special event permit. In addition, such violations may result in the denial of any subsequent liquor license application.
  • If a violation of the state or local liquor code occurs the licensee may be charged and appropriate penalties may apply.

Application Process

All required forms and supporting documents must be filed with the Town Clerk’s office. The application and review process takes some time so plan accordingly. Public hearing maybe scheduled for such applications, and notice of the hearing posted. Continued communication with the Clerk’s office is recommended via email: townclerk@erieco.gov.

The Special Event Permit questionnaire form must also include the following:

  • Dates and proposed times of event(s);
  • Location of the event;
  • Anticipated number of attendees;
  • Food and drink service description;
  • Premises diagram (detailed);
  • Proposed security plan (if required)
  • Training/experience of servers of alcohol;
  • Trash removal/clean-up plan (for the event held on public property);
  • Town staff may require additional documents as deemed necessary to process the application.

NOTE: No public hearing will be scheduled until the complete application and all required documents have been filed and all required fees paid.


  • Submit a completed State's Application for Special Events Permit - DR 8439
  • Submit a completed Special Event Permit questionnaire form
  • A diagram of the area for which the permit will be issued (this diagram must reflect the physical structure (i.e. bars, walls, partitions, entrances, exits, etc.) and a narrative of how this area will be controlled, (i.e., fences, ropes, barbed wire, walls, etc.). Applicants must be able to demonstrate that all alcoholic beverages will remain within the proposed licensed area and that other alcoholic beverages will NOT be brought to the licensed area.
  • Evidence that the applicant has possession of, or authorization to use, the premises for which the permit is sought (i.e. deed, lease, letter, etc.). The applicant must have possession or written authorization to use the premises for the entire duration for which the permit is issued.
  • Submit the photo as proof of posted sign by emailing it to townclerk@erieco.gov.
  • Licensee shall attend the Public Hearing of the Local License Authority (LLA), if required.
  • If the application is granted, Licensing staff will issue a Town permit in the form of a temporary license, including event duration as the issued date and the expiration date, the day of week, date and time duration of the event, and the event coordinator’s name and contact cell phone number at the event.
  • The Town permit should be posted and visible during all times of permitted alcohol service as required by the state liquor code.
  • Licensee to ensure premise control fencing and other means of control of premise is in place and entrances and exits are signed/staffed as disclosed. This should be in place so that inside alcohol does not leave and so that outside alcohol does not enter the permitted area.
  • Volunteers/Staff who are responsible for control measures are not to consume alcohol during their shifts. It is unlawful to sell/serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.
  • It is required by the state liquor code that at least some food in the form of sandwiches and light snacks be available at all times at the event during the alcohol service permitted event.

Checklist of Required Documents

State's Application for Special Events Permit - DR 8439
 Special Event Permit Questionnaire Form
Certificate of Good Standing from Colorado’s Secretary of State
Copy of deed, lease, or written permission of owner for use of the premises
Dimensioned event diagram indicating square footage of entire event space with food and bar locations, exits/entrances of event space, and perimeter of alcohol service area & tables marked.
The local fee is $100
 Check payable to the Town of Erie

Public Hearing Process

A Public Hearing maybe called to order by the Local Liquor Licensing Authority (LLA). The LLA attorney will then advise the Authority on the completeness of the application and the date of its receipt. As the applicant, you should bring a complete copy of the application with attachments to the Public Hearing with you. At the conclusion of the Public Hearing, the Authority may take immediate action on the application or delay action until a later time. Action on the application must occur within 30 days of the Public Hearing. View some Guidance on appearance before Municipal Judge.

Public Hearing Poster

The Public Hearing date is scheduled by the Town Clerk and published in the local newspaper 10 days prior to the hearing. The applicant must also post a Public Hearing poster, which will be provided by the Town Clerk, in public view on the property that is being licensed. A picture of the poster visible to the public is required and the Affidavit of Posting should be emailed to townclerk@erieco.gov..


Please file your completed application including all documentation and payment to the Town Clerk’s Office no later than 45 days prior to the desired public hearing. The Liquor License Authority holds public hearings on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the Erie Municipal Court located at 1000 Tellen Avenue, Erie, Colorado, 80516. Also, see the Guidance on Appearing Before the Judge webpage.

Town Approval

If the Local Licensing Authority approves the issuance of the local license, then the local license will be issued and provided to the applicant.