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Planning a Block Party?

Block Party now must be approved by the police before submitting an application.

This process is an improvement over past experience.  The Police already have to approve the block party application but it was previously at the end of the process after the applicant had paid the fee.  In some cases the Police refused permission and the applicant could not get a refund.  Now you will find out if you can have the block party before you pay the application fee.

In an effort to improve customer service for Philadelphia residents, the Streets Department has modified its process for obtaining a Street Event Permit through the Department’s Right of Way Unit.

Effective August 1st, all Street Event Applications handled by the Right of Way Unit will require pre-screening approval from local Police Districts in advance of being processed. This change applies to applications submitted for approval on or after August 1, 2018. Applicants seeking approval to close their street to host a block party or another street event must submit a Block Party Authorization Approval Form to their local Police District before applying for a permit with the Streets Department.

When applying for a permit, residents will be required to submit the pre-approval form and their street event application to begin processing the request. Police District pre-approval must be noted on the form to begin processing the application. Events include block parties, religious events, serenades, birthday celebrations, weddings, proms and other non-block party events. Applications will not be processed without a Pre-Authorization Approval Form demonstrating local Police District approval to close the street to traffic.  Applicants can visit for a complete list of districts, locations, and phone numbers.

The Street Event Permit Process is being modified to improve the integrity and efficiency of the program. Applicants are informed in advance if their block is approved to be closed to traffic before providing payment of the permit and ancillary items such as food, music and other party-related activities. Local Police Districts have historically approved the closure of a street to traffic, however, prior to August 1, 2018, this procedure took place after the Street Event Application was processed and the permit approved by the Streets Department.

Learn more about the Street Event Application Process here. Early submission of applications enables the Streets Department to quickly process forms and to notify SEPTA, the Fire Department and other authorities of all block party street closures in their districts. Residents can apply online at

Keisha McCarty-Skelton
Communications Director
Streets Department
1401 JFK Blvd.
Municipal Services Bldg., Rm. 730
Phila., PA 19102