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12055 Government Center Pkwy. Fairfax, Virginia 22035
Judy Pedersen
Public Information Officer

Department Resources

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Alcohol in Fairfax County Park Authority Parks

This policy is to protect the safety of park visitors at events involving alcoholic beverages. An approved Park Authority Beverage Use Permit is required for all public or private rentals, events and activities with alcohol on Park Authority property. Alcoholic beverages will be allowed only in the designated areas at the parks and facilities listed on the Alcohol Policy Park and Facility Listing. The details of Policy 306 Alcohol Policy can be found online in the Park Policy Manual.

The Code of Virginia, Title 4.1 Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, outlines definitions, general provisions, administration of licenses, prohibited practices dealing with alcohol, penalties and procedural matters.  http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title4.1/  Use of alcohol in Fairfax County parks without appropriate permits and approved agreements is AGAINST the law.


  • First, submit a rental or use agreement to the facility with times and dates of requested usage.
  • Next, obtain permission to have alcohol at your event through an Alcohol Beverage Use Application (ABUA). You can obtain a copy of an Alcohol Beverage Use Application.

Both documents should be submitted to the same location, and can be submitted at the same time. A $200 ABUA fee per use per location must also be submitted prior to the event.

What if I intend to collect funds for alcoholic beverages, or a fee for admission to the event? 

  • During the application process, you must inform the Park Authority if you plan to collect any fees or charge admission for your event.  In addition to any reservation fees, you will also be required to have an approved Business Activity License
  • After obtaining permission from the Park Authority for alcohol use through the ABUA process, you will need to obtain an approved Virginia ABC Banquet License. 

The Virginia ABC Banquet License is issued by the state of Virginia’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for serving alcoholic beverages at an event. In addition to receiving permission from the Park Authority for use of alcohol on its property, the Virginia ABC requires a permit under certain circumstances.  Please keep in mind it may take up to three weeks to obtain a permit from Virginia ABC.

You will NOT need a Virginia ABC Banquet Licenses if all four conditions below apply to your event:

  • The event is private (i.e., not open to the public and not in a public place*)
    *although Park Authority facilities are public places, they may be restricted to the general public in cases such as a rental event, etc.
  • Money is not exchanged for alcohol or otherwise
  • The event is not held on a club or non-licensed restaurant premises
  • Alcohol purchased for the event is NOT from a wholesaler/distributor

For more information please reference the Virginia ABC License web page

Host Liquor Liability insurance coverage provides liability protection against bodily injury or property damage suits that may be brought by parties injured as a result of an intoxicated guest who was served alcohol at an event you hosted.  Often, Host Liquor Liability coverage is included in Event Liability Insurance policies which can be purchased for specific private events such as weddings, birthday parties and reunions.  Host Liquor Liability plans typically cover a one day period and can start as low as $125.  Coverage also can be extended to protect the event site at no additional cost.  Even if your event is alcohol free, host liquor liability coverage will typically cover you in the event that alcohol is consumed by guests without your knowledge. Keep in mind that catering businesses’ General Liability insurance does not typically cover the event host from liability claims resulting from incidents involving alcohol consumed at the event.

Liquor Liability Insurance is similar to Host Liquor Liability insurance, but provides a greater scope of coverage for the event holder.  If money is exchanged for alcoholic beverages, or an admittance fee is collected for access to the event, the event holder would need to obtain Liquor Liability insurance for additional protection, as Host Liquor Liability does not provide the proper coverage for events where a fee is exchanged for alcoholic drinks. 

Park Authority employees are not licensed insurance agents and legally cannot advise you on insurance matters.  It is recommended that you contact an insurance agent who can make recommendations regarding a specific event or activity. Please ensure any policy you choose to purchase for an event on our property is for a minimum of $1 million and include on the Certificate of Insurance the site name and this statement: “Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Fairfax County Park Authority, its officers, employees and volunteers”.

If you need more clarification on insurance requirements, click here

The amount of time it takes to receive a determination on your request may vary due to the size and scope of your event and staff availability.  Staff will make every attempt to contact you within 2-3 business days of receipt of your request.  If approved, applicants will receive the signed copy of the application through email that includes contact information for any follow up questions.  The approved ABUA becomes your official Park Authority approval and must be kept with you during the event along with any other approval contracts or documents you receive related to the event.

Please visit Facility Rentals.

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