Tents & Carnivals


Tents with permits are allowed to be erected on private property for 3 days in approved residential zoning districts and 14 days in other approved zoning districts.

Note: An application, applicable fees, inspection, and posting of permits are required.


  • Carnivals include events that include amusement rides.
    • Note 2: Carnivals with tents require tent permit(s) in addition to a carnival permit.
  • A permit from the State of Illinois Department of Labor 217-782-9347 is required to operate a Carnival or Amusement Rides. The City of Rockford does not conduct inspections for amusement rides. See the following websites for information.
  • Visit the Illinois Department of Labor page
  • Where food is to be prepared and served to the public, a food service permit shall be obtained from the County of Winnebago Health Department at 815-720-4100.
  • Inspections for cooking appliances and flame spread rating of tent materials, lighting, and exiting are conducted by the Fire Prevention Bureau at 779-348-7172.
  • Inspections for electrical equipment and wiring lighting are conducted by the Electrical Division at 779-348-7158.
  • Tents and Carnivals may not be erected on the City of Rockford property, without the City of Rockford Council's approval prior to permit issuance.