Mississippi Riverwalk

The Mississippi Riverwalk is enjoyed every month of the year. The view of the river is spectacular. Enjoy a walk or jog, a leisurely stroll with your leashed pet or just sit and enjoy the view at one of many special spots along the walk. The flowers and landscaping provide color spring through fall.

The Riverwalk is a part of an entire trail system throughout Dubuque connecting to the Heritage Trail and the nationally-renowned Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. Click here for information about Dubuque’s trails.

Art on the River, a temporary public art exhibit changes each year. View and enjoy eleven pieces of public art that will have you talking, smiling and taking pictures. Click here for information about Art on the River.

The Riverwalk also serves as a docking site for large excursion vessels through the summer and fall. Public events are allowed on the Mississippi Riverwalk via a Special Events Permit.

Port of Dubuque map.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


You may download a PDF of these FAQ's by clicking here.

Can I reserve the Riverwalk for a private or public event?
How do I reserve and pay for the Riverwalk?
What hours can the reservation take place?
What events require a City of Dubuque Special Event Permit?
How do I apply for a Special Event Permit?
Is alcohol allowed at a rental for a public event?
Can I barricade my event?
Can tents be put up along the Riverwalk?
Is electricity available?
Who is responsible for trash removal and cleanup?
Are rest rooms available?
Can I rent the Riverwalk to sell “goods”?
Can my rental fee be refunded if an event is canceled in advance?
Can I close off the Riverwalk and surrounding area?
What is the docking schedule for large excursion boats?
Can I drive a vehicle or have a delivery vehicle on the Riverwalk?
Can I prepare food at Riverwalk?
Are pets allowed?
Are fish flies ever a problem for an event?
Is flooding of the Mississippi River ever a problem for the Riverwalk?

1. Can I reserve the Riverwalk for a private or public event?


The Riverwalk may not be rented for private events but may be rented for public events. The general public and tourists would still have access to the Riverwalk even if there was a rental.

2

. How do I reserve and pay for the Riverwalk?


The Riverwalk may be reserved by calling the City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department at (563) 589-4263. The rental fee is $200 per day payable at time of reservation. Reservations may be made 23 months in advance of the event date. One reservation is allowed per day.

3. What hours can the reservation take place?


Reservation hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and holidays.

4. What events require a City of Dubuque Special Event Permit?


• Any event that invites the public to attend (whether it is a free event or one that includes an entry fee).
• Public events that serve alcohol require a Special Event Permit.

5. How do I apply for a Special Event Permit?


Visit www.cityofdubuque.org/specialevents to download the special event packet and application. Special event permit packets can also be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, 50 West 13th Street, Dubuque, IA. The special event application is a fillable form on-line and can be submitted electronically by visiting www.cityofdubuque.org/specialevents or dropped off at the City Clerk’s Office. Special event permits are issued by the City Clerk’s Office. Special event permits must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the event. Questions about the special event permit process can be answered by calling (563) 589-4120.

6. Is alcohol allowed at a rental for a public event?


Yes, alcoholic liquors, wine, beer or other intoxicating beverages can be consumed providing a Special Events Permit has been issued through the City Clerk’s office and all appropriate liquor licenses have been obtained from the State of Iowa. Call the City Clerk’s office at (563) 589-4120 to see what liquor licenses may be required.

7. Can I barricade my event?


No. However if alcohol is to be served/sold/consumed through an approved Special Event permit, event organizers would need to meet requirements. A site map is a required component of the Special Events permit process.

8. Can tents be put up along the Riverwalk?


No.

9. Is electricity available?


No.

10. Who is responsible for trash removal and cleanup?


All trash removal and cleanup is the responsibility of the individual or organization renting the Riverwalk.

11. Are rest rooms available?


Rest rooms are available at the nearby Port of Dubuque Marina convenience store.

12. Can I rent the Riverwalk to sell “goods”?


Goods can be sold only during a public event is it allowed through an approved Special Event Permit to charge for food, entertainment, clothing, or other types of goods.

13. Can my rental fee be refunded if an event is canceled in advance?


Rental fees are refundable only in limited circumstances with approval of the Public Works Director. To request a refund, please call the Leisure Services Department at (563) 589-4263. Special event damage deposits are refunded after review by all applicable City departments following the event. The special event permit damage deposit refund, if approved, is through the City Clerk’s Office.

14. Can I close off the Riverwalk and surrounding area?


No. The Riverwalk must remain open to the public even if there is a rental. There will likely be people accessing and walking on the Riverwalk during your event or sitting on the stairs surrounding the plaza. Canoes and kayakers could be landing at the beach. Excursion boats may be docked at the plaza. Excursion boats may blow their horn while docked. The Port of Dubuque is active all season long so the sights and sounds of the River, tourists and locals will be heard all around your Riverwalk event.

15. What is the docking schedule for large excursion boats?


Click here to see Port of Dubuque riverboat docking schedules.

16. Can I drive a vehicle or have a delivery vehicle on the Riverwalk?


No. Delivery vehicles or event vehicles should park and unload in the nearest parking lot.

17. Can I prepare food at Riverwalk?


Preparation of food is only allowed through a Special Event Permit filed by a non-profit organization only.

18. Are pets allowed?


Yes. Leashed pets are allowed on the Riverwalk and at River’s Edge Plaza.

19. Are fish flies ever a problem for an event?


The Mississippi River is home to fish flies. Fish Fly hatches happen some summer evenings. The hatch dates are not predictable and are a part of the ecosystem of the River. Fish flies won’t hurt humans but can be a nuisance to an event. The Public Works Department crew cleans the Riverwalk the morning after a fish fly hatch.

20. Is flooding of the Mississippi River ever a problem for the Riverwalk?


Yes. There have been times when the Mississippi River has been very high, the Riverwalk has been flooded. It may be a good idea to check River levels and have a back-up site planned. Flooding can occur at any time spring through fall but is most prevalent in the spring. If flooding would cause cancelation of an event, a refund would be issued.