Special Events on Nantucket

ALERT: Special Events

The Town of Nantucket  is continually taking steps to safeguard the community. Event organizers should exercise an elevated level of caution when planning special events, and applications should be submitted with the understanding that such events may be canceled or rescheduled to a future date, as determined by the Town in its sole discretion. 

Limited Gatherings: Under Nantucket Board of  Health Emergency Order No. 13 (effective beginning Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 12:01 PM) gatherings that bring together more than ten (10) people at any indoor or outdoor space, regardless of size or capacity, are prohibited  on the Island of Nantucket. This prohibition shall apply to all public and private property  and includes all weddings, bar-b-ques, parties, and unorganized activities such as pick-up balls and bonfires. This restriction should not apply to restaurants, religious services, permitted entertainment venues, retail establishments or job sites, provided that there is compliance with the requirements of this order and applicable sector specific guidance. When gatherings of up to ten people are occurring, all persons on the site of the  gathering shall be wearing face coverings at all times.

Face Coverings: Under Nantucket Board of  Health Emergency Order No. 13 (effective beginning Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 12:01 PM) all residents and visitors shall wear a face covering over their mouth and nose when they are in any place that is open to members of the public.  This paragraph shall apply to all areas of the Island that are open to the public, whether the property is publicly or privately owned, whether it is indoors or outdoors, and regardless of its size or capacity, including but not limited to retail stores, points of entry (airport and ferry terminals), marinas, parks, sidewalks and public buildings, but it shall not apply on beaches, bike trails or hiking trails, as long as individuals are maintaining a distance of six feet from other individuals.

COVID Safe Practices Concern Form: Please submit the form if you would like to report possible concerns about non-compliance with the Commonwealth's travel advisory quarantine, face covering, gathering, or other public health rules. 

COVID-19 Travel Order: Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not  meet an exemption, are required to : 

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless they are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.
  • Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test results that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts.
  • If COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival , visitors and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day.

Looking to host a special event on Nantucket? We are delighted that you are interested in building community, supporting local businesses, attracting visitors and energizing our island. 

The Town of Nantucket defines a “Special Event” as any event that is:

  • Held on public property
  • Held on private property but the event is open to the public (free or ticketed)
  • An event that serves alcohol either within the price of admission or as an advertised amenity to guests, regardless of location.
  • Any event up to 250 participants that is hosted by an individual, group, and or organization that will impact access to public property, impact business activity, and or potentially impact the safety of residents and visitors.
  • Any event over 250 people on Public Property requires a separate Public Assembly application. Please fill out a special event application and contact the Town’s Events Coordinator, Marina Dzvonik, promptly if you are planning an event requiring a Public Assembly permit.
Island Events Tent

Examples of events that would need to be permitted include but are not limited to:

  • Road races or sport events
  • Concerts (Inside or outside of a building without a permanent entertainment license)
  • Celebrations, catered beach dinners, receptions, beach weddings
  • Fundraising events
  • Retail Store Receptions
  • Art Opening / Gallery Receptions
  • Ticketed dinner parties or cocktail receptions

Special Event Permits Issued by the Town of Nantucket:

Each permit has a specific fee associated with it. All applicants will be charged a $25 application fee plus the applicable permit fee(s). Please review the Town of Nantucket fee schedule for details.

Only businesses with non-profit status may apply for and receive an “All Alcohol” Temporary Pouring Permit.

NOTE: The Nantucket Community School schedules and permits ATHLETIC / SPORTS activities at the Delta Fields, Nobadeer Farm Fields, Tom Nevers Fields, Winter Park (Essex) and the Jetties Beach Tennis Courts (508) 325-5334. If you would like to schedule a camp, league, clinic or athletic event at one of these locations please refer to COMMUNITY RECREATION for additional information or contact Blair Jannelle with any questions (508) 228-7285 x1576.


The Town of Nantucket assumes no liability if an event is not approved — Selling tickets, advertising, gaining sponsorship and other activities done prior to event approval is done at the risk of the event organizer.

Events on Private Property

If you are planning an event on private property, you may still need to apply for a special event permit, pouring permit, or an entertainment license. If you have any questions about the complexity of hosting a public event on private property please contact Marina Dzvonik, Town's Events Coordinator.

Special permits are needed as follows:

  • When alcohol is included in the price of admission to an event if venue does not have its own permanent liquor license.
  • When an event is advertised as open to the public and provides alcohol, food, or entertainment.
  • When an event is held on private property, such as a hotel or an event venue that does not have its own permanent liquor license.
Event With Beautiful Place Settings at Tables and Artwork Displayed