2022 Petalpalooza – Information


201 Water Street SE
Washington DC


  • Petalpalooza takes place at the Capitol Riverfront at the Yards.
  • This is an outdoor event, dress in layers and be prepare for changes in the weather throughout the event.
  • There is no secure storage, please try to minimize the amount of belongings you bring to volunteer! 
  • Please wear dark or black pants and closed-toed shoes. As it will be a warmer day — you can wear shorts but still need to wear close-toed shoes for safety purposes.
  • If you have volunteered with NCBF in the past or this season, please arrive to site in your volunteer t-shirt. If this is your first event (yay! Thanks for volunteering with us!), volunteer shirts will be distributed at check-in.


Petalpalooza® is the finale signature event of the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival. Its purpose is to host an outdoor event that appeals to all ages, features live music and engaging art activities that celebrate spring, is unique to and within Washington, provides opportunities for NCBF sponsors to activate their brands to a live audience, and culminates with a fireworks display.


Saturday, April 16, 2022

*Rain Date: Sunday, April 17, 2022 (event time shortened to 5-9 PM)


1:00 PM – 9:00 PM

*Fireworks show at 8:30 PM – 8:45 PM

NOTE – volunteer times will vary. Please check your shift schedule.


Capitol Riverfront/The Yards

*Spread throughout neighborhood with primary programming area in Yards Park


Click Here for the Volunteer Orientation Presentation

Visit the Petalpalooza website page for additional information leading up to the event

2022 Parade – All Important Information

Volunteers Parade is quickly approaching. On Saturday, April 9th, we will be hosting the biggest event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Here are some quick reminders, as things can be very overwhelming: 

  • The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® is down Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th ST NW!  
  • Street Parking there is NONE! Please note there are many street closures for our Parade, as well as other events going on the same day.  Please give yourself plenty of time to travel.
  • there are two volunteer check-in tents (East End and West End), make sure you check in at the correct one to prevent yourself from walking 10 blocks.
  • Please wear dark or black pants and closed-toed shoes.
  • Volunteer Shirts – if you have volunteered with us this year or in the past, you can reuse your Green Volunteer Shirt. If this is your first time volunteering, a long-sleeved shirts will be distributed at check-in.
  • We have ZERO storage space, keep that in mind as you prepare!

Masks: Masks are encouraged outside when you cannot social distance. Indoors, masks are required!


As always, if you are interested in volunteering, we still have a few spots available! Please sign up to volunteer here!

Check In Locations – There are two check in locations. You will receive an email with specific instructions on which location to check in at.

  • East End – roles that check in at East End include:
    • Assembly Logistics
    • Balloon Handlers
    • Banner Carriers
    • East End Ushers (*pay attention to the information in your reminder email)
    • Telecast Prop Coordination (*pay attention to the information in your reminder email)
    • Parade Merchandise
    • Talent Wranglers
  • West End
    • Dispersal Logistics
    • West End Ushers (*pay attention to the information in your reminder email)
    • West End Prop Coordination (*pay attention to the information in your reminder email)

Check out the Parade Presentation from Volunteer Orientation

Volunteer Orientation Recap

Volunteers attending the Parade Overview

Thank you to all of our volunteers who attended our Volunteer Orientation on Friday, March 11, 2022 at the National Housing Center!

For those of you that were not able to attend, or those of you that want a refresher on what was presented, here are links to the PowerPoint presentations:

In addition to the above resources, prior to your volunteer shift you will get a reminder email with additional helpful information regarding where to check-in, etc. Be on the lookout for that email and check your spam or junk folders just in case it ended up in there.

Any questions? Reach out to volunteer@ncbfdc.org

We can’t wait to see you on Event site!

Volunteer Orientation is March 11th!

Volunteer Orientation is on Friday, March 11th at 5:30 PM! An “open-house” style event, Orientation is the time to learn about the Festival events for which you are volunteering! See below on what to expect:

How does it work?

Each room is assigned a different event or topic for you to learn, each with half-hour sessions (with the exception of Parade, this has only one (1 – hour) session).  Throughout the night, you’ll have the opportunity to visit up to FOUR different presentations.  The sessions all start and stop at the sound of a bell!  You do not need to be signed up for an event to attend the session.

How do you make the most of this time?

  • Visit the room for each of the events you are signed up for or are interested in.
  • Signed up for Tidal Basin? It would be helpful to attend the Information Session as well since you will be interacting with the most tourists.
  • Ask questions! Festival Staff will be stationed throughout the event so ask away!
  • Sign up for shifts onsite with Isabella! There will be giveaways for onsite signups!
  • Introduce yourself to your fellow volunteers!

Schedule of Events

5:30pm – Doors Open, Snacks Available

6:00pm – Opening Remarks in Atrium by the snacks

6:05pm – 1st Bell, head to your 1st class!

6:35pm – 2nd Bell, 2nd Class and Parade Session Begins

7:05pm – 3rd Bell, Contnuation of the Parade Session, Festival Overview, Tidal Basin/Paws & Petals, Petalpalooza and Festival Overview!

7:35pm – 4th Bell…last class or utilize this time to seek out staff and get your                                   questions answered!

8:05pm – Event Concludes, see you next at the Festival!


National Housing Center

1201 15th Street NW

Washington, DC 20005

Please RSVP HERE, and don’t forget to bring your PHOTO ID and Vax Card!!

See you on Friday, March 11th!

Can’t make 2022 Volunteer Orientation? You’ll be able to view each presentation after the event.  Email isataton@ncbfdc.org to request a presentation.

Meet the EEC: Hospitality Sector!

This week we are introducing our wonderful Hospitality leaders of the Event Execution Committee!

This team welcomes our special guests coming to Washington, DC from around the region, country, and world, and of course our Volunteers. They are responsible for planning Volunteer Social Events, and for assisting with the planning and staffing of various VIP areas.

Their overall goal is to plan and execute social events for NCBF Volunteers. Additionally, they also have the responsibility to assist with recruiting, placement, and management of volunteers in hospitality areas.

Ashley Walker:

Why do you volunteer?

  • “I love the Cherry Blossom festival and my Spring Time Friends! The main reason I volunteer is because of the amazing people I get to work with and the amazing opportunities the festival has offered me. You get to meet people from all over the US and share the festival with them!”

What do you hope to get out of the EEC?

  • “I hope that the EEC creates a positive atmosphere for all volunteers and sponsors. I want people to keep coming back year after year. I also hope that people realize there are other options to get more involved (if they want to) with the festival. The EEC is an awesome group of people who share a passion for the Cherry Blossom festival who have become my Spring Time friends.”

Katie Garland:

Why do You Volunteer?

  • “I volunteer each year because I love the people and community I have created each spring. Every new year, I always look forward to catching up with my cherry blossom friends. I also enjoy all the festival activities and try to make it a goal to try one new thing. It amazes me after so many years, there are still so many new things to try.”

What’s a Fun Fact about you?

  • “I have played the koto for over 8 years and got to perform with the Washington Toho Koto Society for 4 years. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. It is a stringed instrument made from wood and strung with 13 strings that you pluck with three finger picks on your thumb, index finger, and middle finger.”

Jenny Nguyen:

Why do you volunteer?

  • “I love being able to give back to the community as there are many people who have helped me get to where I am at today. Being able to make a difference in the lives of others is truly rewarding, especially being able to see the joy and smiles on their faces. I also enjoy meeting others and getting the chance to become more connected with my community. Volunteering with the NCBF is truly unique because you get to see people from all over the U.S. come together to celebrate our relationship with Japan.”

What is your most memorable moment or memory from the past festivals?

  • “My favorite memory is getting to meet everyone who makes the NCBF a huge success. I was new to the D.C. area last year so I was a bit hesitant to volunteer with the festival since I knew no one, but everyone was so fun and welcoming and I felt as though I had been a part of the festival for years”

Hope Cousin:

Why do you Volunteer?

  • “As a recently relocated resident to DC (May 2016), it was and remains important to me to network with Washingtonians and learn some of the traditions of DC. Cherry Blossom popped up often, so wanted to learn what it was all about. Once I had, I fell in love with it.”

What do you hope to gain through your experience in the EEC?

  • “I’m hoping to continue to expand my network and help to elevate the Cherry Blossom Festival to the next level. It’s refreshing to volunteer for something that makes you smile vs. something that brings you down or is bittersweet.”

These members will be working their hardest to make sure YOU as volunteers have a great experience with the Festival! Make sure to have a chat with them this Festival season!

Win Exclusive Cherry Blossom Swag! – Tell us WHY you Volunteer!

Do you love NCBF Swag as much as we do? Of course you do!

Enter to win this Official National Cherry Blossom Fanny Pack by telling us Why you volunteer!

We’ll tell you, this Fanny Pack definitely comes in handy when working Festival Events like the Parade, Kite Festival, or Petalpalooza! This stylish pack is essential when on your feet for long hours as it offers the convenience of holding all your belongings – even your water bottle!

There are several ways to style this Fanny pack, all of which provide the accessibility of being able to use your hands throughout the day!

Enter a “Why I Volunteer” submission to win this fun and convenient prize!

This item is an exclusive giveaway and not available for purchase!

Rules for Why I Volunteer Raffle:

The National Cherry Blossom Festival will be raffling off a NCBF branded Fanny Pack to one lucky winner. In order to be eligible, you must submit an entry for Why I Volunteer by following the instructions below!

  1. Complete a Why I Volunteer submission that must include a photo or video. One entry per person and new entries only!**
  2. Submission due Tuesday, March 3rd through Wednesday, March 11th at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  3. One winner will be selected at random on March 12th. The winner will be announced during the remarks at Volunteer Orientation on Thursday, March 12th. The winner does not need to be present at the event to collect the prize.
  4. The winner’s Why I Volunteer submission will be featured in the March 17th newsletter.

**Note: Volunteers who have previously submitted a “Why I Volunteer” submission are not eligible for this raffle. We thank you for your previous submission.

***Water bottle not included

Submit your answers here: https://fs2.formsite.com/GrrHyy/NCBF-WhyIVolunteer/index.html

Show your Cherry Blossom spirit with this Fanny Pack or other merchandise!

  • Make sure to tag @cherryblossomfest in all your posts so we can share your messages!

#SpringBlossomsHere #CherryBlossomVolunteers #SpringVolunteers #VolunteersBlossomHere

Meet the EEC: Information Sector!

This week we’re introducing the lovely Information Sector of the Event Execution Committee! These amazing people are always up to date on all things National Cherry Blossom Festival as well as its Participating Programs! During festival events they manage information booths onsite and assist in training information booth volunteers. Additionally, they are experts on the DC area and Japan/U.S. Culture relations. This team does their best to ensure that accurate information is disseminated to our guests!

Mike Auldridge:

Why do you want to volunteer for the Cherry Blossom Festival?

  • I want to help other folks know the city and the Festival better.

What is your favorite blossom event and why?

  • The parade; all the energy is great !

Kycia Spriggins:

Why do you volunteer?

  • People come from all around the world to see the cherry trees, what better way to show off our beautiful city than supporting the National Cherry Blossom Festival. It brings me so much joy to be able to share my knowledge about the history of the trees while promoting the festival activities that kick-off spring in the district.

What is your most memorable moment or memory from the past festivals?

  • In 2014, my mom came to visit me, from Texas, and we volunteered together at the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.  We served as ushers and was able to see the parade travel down Constitution Avenue.  My mom loved every minute of it and I loved that I was able to share a part of my life that I tell her about every festival season.

Andrea Medinaceli:

Why do you want to volunteer for the Cherry Blossom Festival?

  • I love giving back! The Cherry Blossom Festival was one of the first events that I went to when I first moved to DC. It was such a memorable experience and so much fun! I love that I am able to volunteer with the organization to helps others experience the same happiness it brought me. 

What do you hope to get out of the EEC?

  • Being able to help other experience the festival! / Being able to spend time with the other amazing volunteers!

Lauren Brown:

Why Do You Volunteer?

  • I volunteer because the Festival is a great event that is loved by locals and visitors alike. The fact that there are so many different events that make up the Festival and celebrate the gift of the trees means there is something for everyone to enjoy! The Festival is a great kickoff to the spring season, and I always love taking a stroll around the Tidal Basin when the trees are in bloom. I have been enjoying attending the Festival for more than eight years and was looking for a way to get more involved and share my love of the Festival with others.

What do you do in your sector of the EEC?

  • I am a member of the Information Committee, where we work to manage the information booths at the Signature Events and staff the Union Station Pop-Up Shop & Information Kiosk and the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. At the information booths, we make sure that visitors know about all of the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s wonderful events and answer questions about the Festival and the DC area. We help ensure that visitors know about the Festival’s offerings and answer any questions they may have.

Mary Pritt:

Why Do You Volunteer?

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is such an iconic part of DC’s spring time; I love that I can be a part of this prominent event! I like knowing that I am making the festival even better, whether helping with crowd control at the parade, guiding tourists to their destinations, or selling merchandise in the pop-up shop to raise money for the festival. I also like that volunteering is a great way to make new friends in the area!

What’s a Fun Fact about you?

I just adopted a cat! I am embracing turning into a crazy cat lady.

Say “Hi” to this group when they present during the first and third sessions of the Volunteer Orientation event on March 12!

RSVP for Volunteer Orientation here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-national-cherry-blossom-festival-volunteer-orientation-tickets-92781498961

Meet the EEC: Volunteer and Engagement Sector!

Every Festival season, the Event Execution Committee works closely with staff to ensure the success of the Festival! Our EEC is split into four categories: Information, Volunteer Engagement, Hospitality, and Operations.

Meet the members of the Volunteer Engagement sector whose job it is to assist with volunteer recruitment, promote guest management at volunteer events, and keep volunteers engaged year round! This team builds volunteer engagement through the NCBF social media channels, volunteer social events, and by assisting the Volunteer Manager in day-to-day operations of the festival!

Gail Broeckel:

Why do You Volunteer?

  • “I love everything associated with the cherry blossoms. I have a passion for volunteering. The gift of time is the best gesture you can give a person/organization.  Since I feel a part of the “pink family” I am happy to be a part of a team that will help make each event successful.”

What is your favorite National Cherry Blossom Festival memory?

  • “I don’t know how to select just one memory.  I love watching the cherry blossom balloons being blown up before the parade.  I enjoy seeing the performances at the opening ceremony.”

Cherie Nichols:

Why do You Volunteer?

  • “Early mornings, beautiful weather, tons of acts, colorful floats, and large crowds.  I have volunteered at the Parade for several years and it is one of my favorite events to see how well it comes together with so many components.  The very first year I helped to carry one of the Cherry Blossom floats.  It literally takes a team to carry and is definitely fun.”

What do you picture when someone mentions the cherry blossom parade?

  • “Early mornings, beautiful weather, tons of acts, colorful floats, and large crowds.  I have volunteered at the Parade for several years and it is one of my favorite events to see how well it comes together with so many components.  The very first year I helped to carry one of the Cherry Blossom floats.  It literally takes a team to carry and is definitely fun.”

Valarie Johnson:

Why do you volunteer?

  • “I love volunteering as it allows me to support my favorite causes and activities while meeting some amazing people along the way.”

What’s a Fun Fact about you?

  • “I am a part-time mascot and have performed as Cookie Monster, Cat in the Hat, Arthur, Daniel Tiger, Super Why, and many others!”

Make sure to say “Hi!” to our wonderful Volunteer Engagement Team this Festival Season!

Meet the New Volunteer Program Interns!

This festival season, our wonderful interns work with our entire NCBF team, primarily with our Volunteer Manager Tasha Stiger, as well as with the EEC in order to provide the best experience for our hard working volunteers. In addition, they assist in day-to day operations of the festival in the months leading up to and even after the festival. If you see them around this festival season, make sure to say “Hi!”

Pei Ivins
American University

Hi everyone! My name is Pei Ivins. I am a senior at
American University majoring in psychology with a
double minor in sociology and management. I’m from
West Hartford, CT, but was born in China. At AU, I’m a
part of Alpha Phi Omega, the national service
fraternity, and I’m currently serving as the Service Vice
President. Outside of studying, I enjoy hiking, reading,
and trying new foods around DC.
I volunteered with the National Cherry Blossom
Festival in 2017 and I’m very excited to be a part of it
this year!

Quinn Sargent
George Washington University

Hi All! My name is Quinn Sargent and I am a current
sophomore at GW! I live and grew up in Kennebunk,
ME and one fun (Maine) fact about me is that I am a
certified lobsterwomen! I have a strong passion for
music and film and hope to work the entertainment
field one day.
At home I have four dogs! Two St. Bernard’s and two
Australian Shepard’s. Another cool thing about me is
that I am building my own major at GW, which is based
in communications, business marketing and
management, and music and film. I have my own radio
show on campus, I play club field hockey, and I am a
sister of the Pi Beta Phi sorority at GW. My favorite
food is buffalo wings (with blue cheese), I have a really
bad coffee obsession, and I one day hope to go to
Australia and Ireland!
I am super excited to work with you all!

Step-by-Step Instructions to Sign Up to be a Volunteer!

Welcome New and Returning Volunteers! Here’s the step-by-step process on how to sign up for a volunteer shift at the National Cherry Blossom Festival!


Step 1:

Go to the link HERE to view the available shifts.

Step 2:

Explore the shifts! Click the headlines to see the events and their shifts time.

From here, you can click “[see description]” to see details about the Event and a description of the Volunteer Role:

If you have a certain event in mind, we’ve added an additional search engine feature! You can find that at the top of the lists of shifts:

Step 3:

Simply check the box to the left of shift time to select your preferred shift(s).  You can select as many as you like, but please be mindful to not double-book yourself!

Step 4:

Scroll down to enter your email address and fill out your information. (Asterisk ones are required fields)

Step 5:

Keep scrolling down to sign the waiver. If you have another person interested in volunteering, click “Add a volunteer” to let him/her volunteer with you on your selected shifts. You are able to add up to two volunteers.

Step 6:

Click “Sign Up To Volunteer” and then you’re all done, welcome to the Volunteer Team!

Sometimes the emails will get stuck in your spam, so make sure to mark it as “not spam” so that you won’t miss your shift reminders!


As you may be aware, we post shifts in TWO WAVES.  If you sign up for a shift posted in Wave 1, you will receive a password in your confirmation email.

Enter your password into the blank on the signup page and click submit.

This gives you access to ALL of the Wave 2 events and shifts, an entire week earlier than other volunteers!

Repeat step 1 to 5 to sign up for the additional shifts!

See you at the Festival!

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