Special Events | Media Productions | Short-term Concessions Requests

Woman riding mountain bike in racing clothesThank you for your interest in hosting an event, filming a project, or pro­viding a short-term concession at a Texas State Park. This page will guide you through the application process. Please read carefully.

Our mission is to manage state parks and historic sites to con­serve natural and cul­tural resources, provide rec­re­a­tional and educational oppor­tunities, and foster an under­standing of the diver­sity of Texas' lands and heritage for all generations. We make all decisions with this mission in mind.

Definitions

In general, any organized outdoor activity involving the use of, or having impact upon, state park property, facilities, rights-of-way, sidewalks, street areas, or trails in a manner that varies from its current land use, requires a contract.

Texas State Parks has adopted rules and regulations to protect parks and visitors. Read through our Park Rules & Regu­la­tions before planning your event.  

Special events

Special events are things like organized foot or bike races, fun runs or walks, reenactments, trail rides, fundraisers, cook-offs, kid fish days, special classes or courses, endurance runs, car shows, festivals, team relays, rescue competitions, triathlons, summer camps, large holiday celebrations, orienteering meets, Friends Groups’ events (outside of existing Mem­o­ran­dums of Agreements and Con­ces­sion Contracts), etc., which may affect normal park operations.

Media productions

Group of people filming a guitar player on a ledge overlooking a lake.Media production is any audio, video, photo­graphic or digital recording including still photography, digital imaging, filming or video recording. Examples include docu­men­taries, independent or student films, scenic photography, motion picture pro­duc­tions, commercials, marketing videos or photos, drone video or photos, or any other commercial filming activity.

Exceptions

We do not require applications for normal (non-commercial) media activities  of park visitors or print or broadcast news organizations.

Some media or news events may require staff involvement. State park staff may help with news coverage of agency sites and activities at no charge, especially if it helps fulfill our mission.

Short-term concession

A short-term concession is a business managed by a private entity. These last typically less than one year. They include things like vending machines, firewood sales, food vendors, canoe/kayak rentals, bicycle rentals, etc. These contracts may or may not require a competitive bid process. They provide services to park visitors and have the potential to be profitable.

Note: Learn about long-term concessions on the State Park Leased Concessions Opportunities page.

Other permits

You are responsible for obtaining the proper health, alcoholic beverage and food handling permits for your event, film or short-term concession.

Application Instructions

Please read all instructions before submitting your online application.

  • Submit completed applications up to one year and not less than 90 days before your event.
  • Make sure the form is complete and correct, as you can’t make changes once it’s submitted.
  • An application is complete when you have provided all required information.
  • Submit up to five supporting docu­ments with your application. Email additional documents to the park superintendent, who can upload them for you.
  • If the event is recurring at the same location on multiple dates in the same calendar year with the same site plan, only one application is needed. Input all dates and times in the event descrip­tion section.
  • If the event is a recurring event at the same location year after year, we require a new application each year.
  • Texas State Parks may assess a flat fee or percentage of gross revenue fee.
  • If your event will feature living history, please review TPWD Living History Exhibits, Demonstrations and Reenactments Procedures.
  • If you need facility reservations or group camping, visit State Parks Reservations.
  • The park superintendent is your main contact. Look up park contact information.

Insurance

We will evaluate requests to determine the right amount of liability insurance cov­er­age. Organizers must carry a minimum policy of public liability insurance of $500,000. High-risk events such as powered watercraft or bouldering may require up to a $1,000,000 policy.

Policies must be issued by an insurance company licensed in Texas. A certificate of insurance, naming Texas Parks and Wild­life Depart­ment, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, as addi­tional insured, must be on file with Texas State Parks before the event occurs. Include the name and date of the event on the certificate.

Emergency Plan

The Texas Parks and Wild­life Department may require an emer­gency management plan for special events and large-scale filming productions. The plan should specify procedures for handling sudden and unexpected situations to protect all people involved, reduce damage to build­ings and equipment, and protect the natural environment and the community.

Fill out your Emer­gency Management Plan online. Download the completed form and submit with your application or send to the park superintendent.

More questions?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions about Park Requests page.