Coordinating Community Events

Fair food3.jpgA Community Event is defined in the California Retail Code (Cal Code) as an event that is of civic, political, public, or educational nature; including state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses and other public gathering events approved by the local enforcement agency. The event must be held on public property and the organizer or sponsor is a public agency or non-profit organization for charitable purposes. It may also be formally recognized by a local jurisdiction’s adoption of a proclamation designating the event as a Community Event. It shall not include a swap meet, flea market, swap mall, seasonal sporting event, grand opening celebration, anniversary celebration, or similar functions.

The event must have a Community Event Coordinator or Coordinators who are responsible for representing an organization that is in control of an event that has one or more temporary food facilities in operation. For more information on what is required of the Event Coordinator, please read responsibilities and requirements (PDF).

To apply for a Community Event permit, submit an application with fees to the Environmental Health office a minimum of Thirty (30) Days prior to the first day of the event between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. All applications must have the following documentation to complete the application:

  • List of vendors planning to attend the event
  • Site plan of the event area and facilities


As is printed in the California Retail Food Code (Cal Code), a Temporary Food Facility  (i.e. tent, booth, stand, "Old Town"alt="kettle corn01.jpg" , etc.) is a food facility approved by the enforcement officer that may be readily disassembled for storage or transport. A temporary food facility generally operates at a fixed location for the duration of an approved community event or at a swap meet. Similarly, there is a Non Profit Temporary Food Facility (i.e. Scouts, 4-H, etc.), which means it is a temporary food facility (as defined in Section 113930), that is conducted and operated by a corporation incorporated pursuant to the Nonprofit Corporation Law (Div. 2 (commencing with Section 5000), Title 1, Corp. C.). This is exempt from taxation pursuant to Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 23701 (d) of the Revenue and Taxation Code or meets the requirements of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. A Nonprofit Temporary Food Facility may also be an established club or organization of students that operates under the authorization of a school or educational facility.

mobile food cart

A Mobile Food Facility (i.e. hot dog cart, espresso wagon, Fair vehicles) is a food vehicle or cart, used in conjunction with a commissary or other permanent food facility. "Mobile Food Facility" does not include an "approved vehicle" used to transport packaged food from a food facility, or other approved source to the consumer.

To apply for a permit to operate a temporary or mobile food facility, please submit an application with the appropriate fees. This application is separate and for vendors only. All Event Coordinators must fill out an event application (above).

**Please Note: Non Profit Vendors are exempt of fees, but are still responsible for all requirements pertaining to the facility in which they are applying.

Important information about Temporary & Mobile Food Facilities:

Can I Operate a Temporary Food Facility (PDF)

Operational Requirements (PDF)

Structural Requirements (PDF)

Cal Code (Section 114335 & 114294) (PDF) - Temporary & Mobile Food

Complete TFF Booklet (PDF)

Complete Community Event Coordinator Booklet (PDF)

Community Event Permit (PDF)

Temporary/Mobile Food Facility Application (PDF)

** These definitions are as printed in the California Retail Food Code (Cal Code) Effective July 1, 2007