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Special Events Planning

Proper planning will help make your lake event special, safe, and lake friendly. A permit is required to hold a special event on Lake Minnetonka any time of year such as fishing tournaments, sailing regattas, fundraisers, carnivals, etc. While the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department Water Patrol (Water Patrol) issues the permit on behalf of the LMCD, all safety, nuisance, and AIS prevention requirements must be met. Applicants should submit an application to the HCSO Water Patrol at least 30 days prior to the scheduled date of the special event to allow processing.

Other agencies such as the municipality in which an event is taking place and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) may also require permits for certain types of events.  If you are an event coordinator, the following considerations may be helpful in planning your event.

General Considerations

  • Location. Provide an aerial and letter of approval from the landowner if applicable.
  • Date and Time. What are the dates and time frames of the event?
  • Size of Event. How many boats, vehicles, structures, and attendees are anticipated?
  • Anchoring/Location. Where will boats or structures be anchored or located? Will this be located at a commercial or residential site or near a channel? will it impede navigation or ice safety?
  • Land-based Activities. Will activities occur on land as well? If yes, how many participants anticipated? The city the land-based activity is located may require a permit.
  • Sales of Merchandise. Sales of food, beverages, or goods is not allowed on the lake. Check with the city for on-land requirements.
  • Launching. How will traffic be managed as part of launching and removal of watercraft or vehicles?
  • Containment. How will the applicant limit the number of boats, ice houses, or other structures if needed? How will any additional COVID-19 guidance be addressed?
  • Sound. How will the sound be projected to prevent nuisances. Are airway rights secured for participants to turn their radio station to? Provide copy if required
  • Physical Characteristics. A site plan documenting the equipment specifications and placement location (including the need to show compliance with all electrical systems/devices in and around water) to prevent hazards.
  • Lighting. A lighting plan confirming the projection of light will not be a safety hazard to navigating watercraft.
  • Trash and Litter Control. How will trash and litter be controlled for the participants, etc.
  • Sanitation. How and what type of toilet and hygiene facilities will be provided?
  • Emergency/First Aid. What type of emergency or first aid personnel or facilities be provided.
  • Additional License/Permits. Any licensing requirements for the concert, movie, etc? Provide copy if required.

Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

Clean In Clean Out

Clean Drain Dry Poster

Lake Minnetonka is a local, regional, and national recreation destination and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) is crucial. Taking some simple steps can help protect our lakes and waterbodies. Be sure all special event participants are following Minnesota State AIS laws and AIS prevention guidelines. For AIS laws and additional recommendations, visit the Lake Minnetonka AIS webpages. If you would like to coordinate your event and AIS prevention resources, please contact the LMCD office.

Resources

Special Event Permit Application
Special Event Permit Liability Release