County Fair Building

1. Facility & Garden Rentals

RoomSquare FeetCapacity (Maximum)
Auditorium (AUD)4,200Seated:280, Standing : 400
Entire Facility (GCR, REC, AUD, GAL)14,8282,000
Gallery (GAL)8,636Seated: 575, Standing: 1,000
Gallery Courtyard6,000 (approximately)N/A
Garden Club Room (GCR)84050
Kitchen (Full Commercial Kitchen)N/AN/A
Patio2,000 (approximately)N/A
Recreation Room (REC)1,152100


2. Applications

Applications must be submitted online using our Online Application. All applications received by September 15 for the following year will be reviewed together taking into account historical usage, preference for horticultural groups and maximizing usage. Any applications received after September 15 will be reviewed weekly and will receive a lower priority.

3. Condition of Premises

The premises are furnished on an "as is" basis, together with any usual and regular heat and lighting.

4. Permit Fees

Permit fees are on a per-hour and per-room basis with a minimum of two hours. Rates per room are determined according to which of the following groups the Permittee belongs. If you elect to set up a facility in advance, you will be required to pay regular fees for the set up and fees for use of the space while it is unavailable to others.

Permit fees should be paid as follows:

  • In Person: Permits and Reservations, Old Log Cabin, Stow Lake Drive (off JFK), in Golden Gate Park
  • By Credit Card: Call 415-831-5500
  • By Mail:
    Permits and Reservation
    San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
    501 Stanyan Street
    San Francisco, CA 94117

Permit fees for the Botanical Gardens range from $250 per hour to $2,000 per hour. Please call 415-831-5500 for information.

  1. Group 1: Garden Clubs
  2. Group 2: Non-Profits
  3. Group 3: Corporations

Garden Clubs or Flower Societies engaged in horticultural activities in which there are no monetary transactions (admission charge, donation, ticket sales, or product sales) during or in connection with the activity.

Rental SpaceReservation FeeHourly Rate (2 Hour Minimum)
Auditorium$32$25
Commercial KitchenMay Only Be Rented in Conjunction with Room Rental$6
CourtyardMay Only Be Rented in Conjunction with Room Rental$13
Entire Facility$45$76
Gallery$32$38
Garden Club Room$13$6
PatioMay Only Be Rented in Conjunction with Room Rental$6
Recreation Room$13$13

5. Deposits

  • Permit Fee Deposit: A non-refundable deposit of 25% of the full permit fee is due and payable within seven days of confirmation of the reservation application. The remainder is due 30 days prior to your event.
  • Security Deposit: A refundable security deposit is due and payable by cashier’s check or money order with the balance of permit fee payment. All or a portion of that deposit will be retained by the Operator to the extent the Permittee has not strictly complied with the terms of the Agreement. In addition, future rentals to Permittee may be refused or security deposits may be increased for Permittee’s subsequent use. Any portion of that deposit not retained will be refunded. The security deposit rates are as follows:
San Francisco County Fair BuildingRate
Auditorium$300
Commercial Kitchen$75
Courtyard$150
Entire Facility$850
Gallery$500
Garden Club Room$25
Patio$150
Recreation Room$50


San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing ArboretumRate
Demonstration Garden$1,000
Fountain Plaza$1,500
Fragrance Garden$1,000
Great Meadow$1,500
Redwood Grove$1,000
Rhododendron Pavilion$1,000
Zellerbach Garden$1,500


6. Payment Terms

All fees must be made payable to San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and delivered to Permits and Reservations in person or by mail. The balance of the permit fee, including any additional fees determined by Operator, and the security deposit are due at least 30 days prior to the scheduled event in two separate checks or by credit card. Please note: The security deposit if provided by check will not be deposited unless there is a violation.

7. Additional Fees

Any portion of any day needed for set-up or take-down, other than the day of an event, will be charged 100% of the daily rental fee for the room(s) used and will also pay for any time that the room is unavailable to others.

  • Staff Fees: There is an additional staff fee of $25 per hour except in the case of returning flower group meetings in good standing. For Flower groups, the building is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Use of the building outside of those hours will incur an additional staffing fee of $25 per hour.
  • Staff Set up Fees: The premises are rented as is and fees do not include set up of tables and chairs. There is an additional staff fee if tables and chairs are requested.
  • Custodial Fees: Large events will incur additional custodial fees.
  • Park Ranger Fees: Any event involving alcohol, large crowds or attendance after 9 p.m. will incur fees for Park Rangers. The rate is $65 per hour for Park Rangers.

8. Tables & Chairs

The facility has a limited number of tables and chairs on site. If you have not booked the Entire Facility, you will need to share the tables and chairs with other users.

9. Security

Operator does not provide security services. If Permittee engages security for event, Permittee shall provide the following information to the Operator at least one month prior to the event:

  • The duty hours
  • Name and address of the company supplying the security services
  • The name of the security personnel
  • A telephone number where personnel or service can be contacted during the event
  • Whether any personnel will be armed

10. Cleaning

Permittee is fully and solely responsible for cleaning the Premises and returning them to the condition existing prior to the event. All garbage and debris from the event must be removed from the Premises. The Operator’s dumpsters are not to be used. All tables and chairs must be returned to their original location. Operator shall provide trash receptacles for the rooms, but Permittee is fully responsible for providing trash bags and removing all trash from those receptacles. Permittee must provide an adequately sized dumpster for large events. Please check with the Operator regarding size and placement of dumpsters.

11. Use of Premises

The Premises may be used only for the events described in the Agreement. In no event, may any other portion of the building be used by Permittee or any of the Permittee’s agents, employees, or guests. Neither Permittee nor any of Permittee’s agents, employees or guests shall disrupt any other use of the building. Use of areas beyond building, patio, and courtyard fence is prohibited.

12. Hours

All events must be completed and rooms cleaned and thoroughly vacated by 12 midnight on the date of the event, unless an earlier time has been specified in the Agreement. Other activities may be scheduled immediately prior to or after the event, therefore, Permittee should comply with hours specified in the Agreement.

13. Set-up & Take-down

Permittee is responsible for set-up and take-down of all items required for event including setting up and taking down tables and chairs. Please consult with the Operator regarding proper handling and storage of tables and chairs.

14. Items/Activities Not Permitted on Premises

The following items are prohibited: 

  • Birdseed or uncooked rice for throwing
  • Bottled gas in any form
  • Candles
  • Confetti
  • "Fog" or "smoke" producing equipment
  • Glitter
  • Mylar balloons

The Operator reserves the right to require Permittee to remove any other items, which pose an undue hazard to the premises or its users. Use of electrical equipment, sterno, open flame and barbecues must be approved by the Operator in advance and in writing. The use of Styrofoam products (defined in San Francisco Health Code Sections 469.l (a) (b) (d) (e) is prohibited, as is the indoor or outdoor release of balloons. Posting of signs on the building or other park property is prohibited without advance permission from Operator. Signage advertising special events is restricted to the event site on the day of the event only.

15. Decorating

The use of nails, screws, tacks, wire or two-way tape or similar materials to fasten items to acoustical baffles, walls, cabinets, windowsills, doorways, or from the ceiling, is strictly prohibited. Blue painter’s tape is the only adhesive that may be used. All mounted materials must be fire proof or flame resistant. The cost of repair from damage to paint or other surfaces will be deducted from the security deposit.

16. Parking

Parking is not available at the San Francisco County Fair Building. The parking lot may be used solely for loading and unloading. Illegally parked vehicles may be cited by San Francisco Police Department and/or towed at the owner’s expense.

17. Music

Live or recorded music may be played in the Premises in accordance with the rental Agreement. No amplified music may be played outside the Premises, including patio, courtyard area, garden or parking lot.

18. Insurance

Permittee must obtain the following insurance and must provide certificates of such insurance to the Operator at least 30 days prior to the scheduled event:

For all events, whether private or open to the public, the following insurance shall be endorsed to name as additional insured the City and County of San Francisco and its officers, agents, employees and commissioners:

  • Comprehensive general liability insurance with limits not less than $1,000,000 -each occurrence combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage, including coverage for: 
    • Broad form property damage
    • Contractual liability
    • Independent contractors (if applicable)
    • Liquor liability (if any will be sold)
    • Personal injury
  • To the extent Permittee has employees, Worker’s Compensation Insurance in the amount required by law, with employer’s liability limits of not less than $1,000,000 -each occurrence.

19. Licenses & Permits

Permittee shall obtain and present to the Operator no less than thirty-days prior to the event the following permits and approvals if applicable to the event. Please note that telephone numbers may not be accurate as of the date of this Agreement:

  • Fire Code Approval: The San Francisco Fire Department requires that groups or persons using the facilities for more than 100 persons submit floor plans for approval. 
    • Phone: 415-558-3303
  • Public Health Permit: If food and/or beverages are either sold or served to the public, Permittee must obtain an on-site food permit from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
    • Phone: 415-252-3801
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control Permit: If alcoholic beverages are either sold or served to the public, Permittee must obtain a one-day permit from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. 
    • Phone: 415-356-6500
  • Intent to Sell Goods: Any event in which taxable property is intended to be sold, must obtain a California Seller’s Permit from the State of California Board of Equalization. 
    • Phone: 800-400-7115

20. Smoking Policy

Smoking is prohibited on the Premises or any unenclosed property in the City and County of San Francisco under the jurisdiction of the Recreation and Park Commission.

21. Personal Property/Rented Items

The Operator is not responsible for the loss or theft of personal property or rented items brought on the Premises by Permittee, guests or persons acting under the direction of Permittee. Any rented items left on Premises for pick-up is at Permittee’s own risk.

22. Animals

Animals or pets are not allowed inside the building with the exception of service/guide dogs (City Ordinance 603-81, Park Code 5.02).

23. Special Event Sites Rules & Regulations

  • Arrival and Departure, Set-Up and Break-Down: The Permittee is only allowed on site during the time for which they have reserved. There are no pre-setup or break-down time frames.
  • Clean-up: All debris must he bagged and removed from the rented site or put into a locking dumpster rented from the Scavenger company.
  • Rice, Flower Petals, and Bird Seeds: Throwing of rice, flower petals or bird seeds is not allowed.
  • Wildlife: Releasing of wild life (doves, butterflies, etc.) is prohibited.
  • Mylar Balloons: Mylar balloons are not allowed on park property. Other balloons may be brought, but may not be released on park property. All balloons must be attached to a freestanding pole. Balloon, Piñatas, Streamers, Signs, etc. may not be attached to any trees, benches, or poles on Recreation and Park property.
  • Sound Amplification: Amplified sound is not allowed at outdoors sites.
  • Vehicles: Vehicles are not permitted on the grassy area or the small paved roads at the permitted sites. Vehicles must be parked on the main roads.
  • Absolutely, no tape, no nails, no thumbtacks, no staples, no helium balloons, etc. are to be attached to walls, banisters, etc. This is to prevent damage to the building.
  • Candles: If permitted plans to have candles for their event, a sample of the candle must be presented to the San Francisco Fire Department Permit Division for approval. A copy of the approval must be submitted to the Permits Division of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to be put on file 30 days prior to the event. The Permit Division is located at:
    698 Second Street
    Number 109
    San Francisco, CA 94107
    Phone: 415-558-3303

If these rules are not followed, permittee will forfeit the entire security deposit!!

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or disability in its programs and activities. If persons feel they have been discriminated against in any department activity, program or facility, they may file a complaint with:
San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department
McLaren Lodge 501 Stanyan Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone: 415-831-2700

They may also file a complaint at the Office of Equal Opportunity. U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.