Boone County Courthouse Plaza Rules and Regulations


All non-profit groups wishing to use the Boone County Courthouse Plaza must submit a completed Boone County Courthouse Plaza Use Application to the Boone County Commission Office. Applications will be submitted to the County Commission for approval at the semiweekly Commission meetings. Applications may be submitted up to one year prior to the event, but no later than 45 days prior to the event. Applications will be processed in the order they are received. Larger or more complex events may require more time for processing and approval. In completing and submitting this form, applicants agree to abide by the Boone County Courthouse Plaza Policy as well as the Boone County Courthouse Plaza Rules and Regulations as set forth in this document.


A refundable deposit will be required at the time of application in the form of a check. Applications submitted online will be held until the deposit check is received by the Boone County Commission Office. Checks may be made out to Boone County. The deposit may be withheld by Boone County to cover the costs of unnecessary cleanup should the area not be left in the condition in which it was found. The deposit may also be used for repairs of damage caused during the course of the event. The deposit amount is based upon the possible cleanup required post-event and is as follows:

  • Events not serving food or drink: $100
  • Events serving non-alcoholic drinks and/or food: $200
  • Events serving alcoholic drinks with or without food: $300

If the Courthouse Plaza is left clean, free of trash and without damages, the deposit will be returned to the organization within one (1) month.

Time Considerations

More complex events may require additional action prior to the submission of an application. Therefore, the Plaza may be reserved for the anticipated date up to 30 days prior to submission of an application. If a completed application is not submitted within 30 days of the initial request, the reservation will be canceled and the Plaza will again be available on a first come, first serve basis. The final date of the application submission must still be no later than 45 days prior to the anticipated event.

When reserving the Courthouse Plaza, it is the responsibility of the user to request enough time to allow for setup prior to the event start time and cleanup after the event has concluded. Setup time shall allow for a pre-event walkthrough with Boone County personnel. Cleanup time after the event shall allow for a post-event walkthrough with Boone County personnel. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure appointments are scheduled with Boone County Facilities Maintenance for the pre-event and post-event walkthroughs. Walkthroughs not arranged by the user will be conducted by Boone County Facilities Maintenance personnel without the user’s presence.

Responsibilities of User

User shall arrange, provide, and pay for all materials, personnel and services necessary for the efficient and safe use of the Boone County Courthouse Plaza, including security and post-event cleanup. Smoking is not permitted in any area of the Boone County Courthouse Plaza. Additional prohibitions for use of the facilities are as follows: No tobacco, including chewing tobacco; no fireworks, lasers or pyrotechnics; no confetti, glitter or rice; no items attached or affixed to any tree or plant, fence, building or other part of the Plaza or its amenities without prior approval; no digging, transplanting or disturbance of vegetation; no vehicles on the turf or sidewalks; no gasoline, distillate or other petroleum products, or other substances or materials of an explosive or flammable nature; no items laid on turf that might cause damage to it; no items placed on or used on the concrete or pavers that may cause damage to them; no air-supported or inflated devices or structures (i.e. jump castles, slides, etc); and no special amusement structures. If open flames over 3 feet in diameter and over 3 feet tall or cooking/heating appliances will be used, a burn permit must be obtained from the Columbia Fire Department, 201 Orr Street, 573-874-7556, between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

Smoking Policies

Smoking is not permitted in any area of the Boone County Courthouse Plaza. Designated smoking areas are located on the east side of the Boone County Government Center and the west side of the Boone County Courthouse. Violators may be subject to trespass warnings.

Laws & Ordinances

User shall comply with applicable laws whether federal, state or local, and applicable rules, regulations and requirements. Fire lanes must remain clear at all times. Any group using the Boone County Courthouse Plaza agrees to abide by and conform to all rules and regulations that may be adopted from time to time, including any and all alterations that might be imposed on the operational hours and use policies.

Tents & Signs

Tents, tables and other furnishings must be provided by the user. Tents up to 100 square feet (10 feet x 10 feet) are allowed to be erected on the Courthouse Plaza grounds. Per City of Columbia regulations, tents this size and smaller do not require a tent permit. Event signs are permitted in restricted areas and must be placed using methods that will not damage any part of the Courthouse Plaza. Sign placement must be indicated on the map accompanying the application for use and is subject to approval by the Boone County Commission.


Temporary fencing may be erected for the purposes of admissions and reasonable pedestrian control. Entrances controlled by fencing must be attended at all times so that, in case of emergency, barriers to emergency access may be quickly removed. Public access must also remain available to the Boone County Government Center and Boone County Courthouse. Location of fencing must be indicated on the Courthouse Plaza map included with the Courthouse Plaza Use Application.

Portable Restrooms

Portable restrooms are not permitted on the Courthouse Plaza grounds. Organizations may request to reserve the Boone County Commission Chambers so as to have access to the restrooms located inside the Boone County Government Center. However, if a reservation for Chambers has already been approved, organizations using the Courthouse Plaza must make other arrangements. For information regarding the use of portable restrooms outside the boundaries of the Courthouse Plaza, please contact the City of Columbia.

Admission Costs

Users of the Boone County Courthouse Plaza who have retained an approved reservation may charge an admission fee of those attending their event as noted in the application.

Food/​Non-Food Sales

The sale of non-food and food items during events held in the Courthouse Plaza is permissible. Users selling non-food items must obtain a Temporary Business License from the City of Columbia Business License Office unless specific conditions are met per Chapter 13, 13-411 of the City of Columbia Ordinances. Users selling food items must obtain both a Temporary Business License as stated above and a Temporary Food Permit unless specific conditions are met per Section 8-104.1 of the City of Columbia Food Code. It is the responsibility of the user to contact the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services to ensure all requirements are met for any food sales or distribution during user’s event. If food sales include the use of heating appliances or grills for cooking, a permit must be obtained from the Columbia Fire Department.


Beer and wine may be permitted only with advance approval by the Boone County Commission. Hard alcohol will not be permitted. Organizations applying to use the Courthouse Plaza who intend to sell alcohol as a part of their event must review the City of Columbia Alcohol Ordinance. They must also obtain a City of Columbia temporary liquor license, a Boone County liquor license and a State of Missouri liquor license. The City of Columbia license must be obtained prior to the issuance of the State of Missouri license. No glass containers will be allowed on the Courthouse Plaza.


Electrical outlets are available for use by organizations approved for use of the Courthouse Plaza. Outlets are located on the southeast and northwest sides of the stage. If access to this electrical supply is needed, user must indicate this on the Boone County Courthouse Plaza Use Application. The cost of additional electrical supply is the sole responsibility of the user. The user will take all necessary precautions to protect the existing electrical service from overload and damage. Electrical panels may not be modified by any outside electrician. It is the responsibility of the user to inspect equipment for compatibility. If the user’s equipment is not compatible, the user’s equipment must be modified. Modifying the County’s electrical panels will result in a fine. User is responsible for any and all necessary repairs to the Boone County Courthouse Plaza electrical panels as a result of user’s modification.

Sound Levels

A sound permit will be required when using amplification. Sound levels may not exceed levels established by the City of Columbia. Monitoring of sound levels may be taken periodically throughout the event as well as during set-up and sound check. Failure to comply with such a request may be cause for fines, immediate termination of the event, forfeiture of deposit and denial of future use requests by offending organization. A copy of signed sound permit shall be in the possession of user.

Post-Event Cleaning Requirements

Users shall thoroughly clean the Courthouse Plaza area such that it is returned to its original state. All trash may be deposited in the dumpster located in the alley south of the Boone County Government Center. If an additional dumpster is required, it is the sole responsibility of the user to pay for and obtain such equipment. Fines may be incurred by user if the Courthouse Plaza is not clean and free of trash following the event.


Maximum occupancy of Boone County Courthouse Plaza as determined by the Columbia Fire Department is not to be exceeded. Maximum occupancy for Courthouse Plaza areas is as follows:

  • Café Patio: 38 persons (in addition to unconcentrated tables and chairs)
  • Stage: 57 persons
  • Platforms (base of Columns): 12
  • Remaining open area: 1200 persons based on standing room with appropriate aisle exits OR
    968 persons based on concentrated chairs with appropriate aisle exits

Insurance Requirements

Any event open to the general public requires the user to procure and maintain, at its sole cost and expense for the duration of this Use Agreement, Public Liability insurance covering the proposed use or activity in the name of the user, naming the County as additional insured.

Public liability insurance shall be required as follows:

Public liability insurance in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for all claims arising out of a single accident or occurrence and three hundred fifty thousand dollars ($350,000.00) for any one person in a single accident or occurrence, naming the County as co-insured, shall be required for festivals, concerts or celebration events that involve moderate risk that are open to the general public and that are expected to have an attendance of one thousand five hundred (1,500) or less or any other event or activity that, in the judgment of the director, involves a moderate risk of injury.

The insurance policy must cover, in addition to the general public, all entertainers and their support staff and any other individual participating in or attending the event for which the facility is rented. Only insurance carriers licensed and admitted to do business in the State of Missouri will be accepted. User must furnish proof of coverage through a Certificate of Insurance no later than two weeks prior to the event.

Security Plan

If the nature of the scheduled event is such that it may place an increased demand on public safety services, user may be required to provide security services. These services will not be provided by Boone County Sheriff’s Office personnel. If an event requires a security plan, it is the responsibility of the requesting organization to make these arrangements in a timely manner such that the plans may be reviewed and approved prior to thirty (30) days before the event.

Events involving fifty (50) or more people, including volunteers, require a Fire Safety, Public Safety and Evacuation Plan. Organizations must submit this plan with the application for use. Additionally, events with one thousand (1,000) or more people require one crowd manager per every 250 individuals.

User's Property

The County of Boone shall assume no responsibility for any property placed on or in its facilities or grounds. Further, the County of Boone, its officers, agents and employees, are released and discharged from any and all liability for loss, injury or damage to persons or property that may be sustained by the use or occupancy of the facility and its environs.


User warrants that the event will be suitable for the audience in attendance and will not contain profanity, nudity, or adult themes and content. User agrees, represents and warrants that nothing contained in the program, performance, and exhibition or in any other way connected with user’s activities under this agreement shall violate or infringe upon any copyright, patent, right of privacy or other statutory or common law right of any person, firm or corporation. Further, user warrants that all programs, performances, concerts, etc., to be performed under the “Application” involving works protected by statutory or common law copyrights or other proprietary law have been duly licensed or otherwise authorized by the owners of such works or legal representatives thereof. User further agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless The County of Boone, its officers, agents and employees, from any and all claims, fees, expenses or costs including legal fees asserted or incurred with regard to such warranty.

Misrepresentation of Event

Any misrepresentation as to the nature of the event, the number of attendees expected, contact or payment information, or any other falsification of permit documents will result in the immediate cancellation of the event and forfeiture of all fees paid, and may also result in denial of future permit requests and/or legal action.