Ceremonial Document Request Guidelines

Proclamations, certificates, congratulatory letters and keys to the City are ceremonial in nature and are issued by the Mayor and Members of Roanoke City Council. They are intended to honor and celebrate special events, significant issues, or increase awareness. This policy is subject to change per the wishes of the City Council and they reserve the right to modify or deny any request.


Proclamations are issued for:

• Public awareness campaigns.
• Nonprofit organizations.
• Arts and cultural celebrations within the City of Roanoke.
• Special honors (on the recommendation of the Mayor and Members of the Roanoke City Council).
• Birthdays (90+) and anniversary milestones (75+).

Certificates and Congratulatory Letters are issued for:

• Certificates and Congratulatory Letters are provided by the Mayor’s Office to be of service to Roanoke City residents and guests. The purpose of a certificate/letter is to celebrate achievements and recognize individuals or organizations for their accomplishments. Certificates of recognition/letters are provided for significant birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, professional celebrations and award recipients.
• Requests should be made at least 30 business days in advance of the date of the document needed. All requests must be made in writing and can be mailed, faxed, hand delivered or emailed to the City Clerk (see contact information below).

Honorary Citizen Certificates are issued for:

• Honorary Citizen Certificates may be awarded to out of town dignitaries and foreign citizens/dignitaries who are visiting the City of Roanoke in a special capacity or in a cultural exchange.
• Other Honorary Citizen Certificates may be awarded as deemed appropriate by the Mayor and Members of Roanoke City Council.

Ceremonial Key to the City:

• In the City of Roanoke, the act of giving the Key to the City is the highest form of municipal honor. It is symbolic and is presented by the the City Council per policy.

Ceremonial Documents will NOT be issued for:

• Matters of political controversy, ideological or religious beliefs, or individual convictions.
• Events or organizations with no direct relationship to the City of Roanoke.
• Campaigns or events contrary to City policies.
• Retirements with the exception of City of Roanoke employees.
• Deceased persons.

Who can make a ceremonial document request:

• A City of Roanoke resident or an organization based in Roanoke.
• Proclamations must affect a broad group of people. Proclamations are not made for individuals, depending on the occasion or event, either a Certificate of Recognition or Congratulatory letter may be requested.

Requests for a ceremonial document must include:

• Contact person’s first and last name, address and telephone number.
• A brief summary and/or background of the event or organization.
• The name and date(s) of the day, week, month or event to be proclaimed.
• Draft text for the proclamation, including 4 – 6 “whereas” clauses.
• An indication of whether the document should be mailed or will be picked up.
• A date when the document is needed.


• Roanoke City Council reserves the right to modify or deny any request for ceremonial document.
• An organization may request only one proclamation annually.
• More than one cause can be proclaimed simultaneously.
• An organization does not have exclusive rights to the day, week or month of their proclamation.
• Requests should be made no less than 30 business days in advance of the date in which the document is needed.

Click here to access the Ceremonial Document form.