Kristi King, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - As the D.C. area prepares for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the search for volunteers has begun.
For those who are interested in helping out, opportunities are available at myriad events all over the city.
"Volunteers can help us at the Tidal Basin, at the National Building Museum at Family Days, at the parade, at the opening ceremony," says Danielle Piacente, the festival's communications manager, who also notes that every cherry blossom event uses volunteers.
Piacente invites those who are curious to use volunteering to get an inside look at the festival.
"Come help us set up events and break down events," says Piacente. "Help out at the Tidal Basin and greet visitors. We're expecting a million people and you can be part of that."
WTOP's Sae Robinson has volunteered for a number of years in the past. One fond memory she has from her experiences is being approached by people wanting to buy her "volunteer" t-shirt.
"'Where do you get that T-shirt? I want to buy that t-shirt for a souvenir,'" Robinson chuckles. "You have to be a volunteer to get those t-shirts."
The shirts' colors are vivid, with "volunteer" spelled out in big block letters on the back and an artistic design featured on the front.
Volunteers don't need to have any particular knowledge or experience, but they must be at least 18. Volunteer shifts typically last two hours and are available on days and evenings on weekdays and weekend days. The festival begins on March 20, the first day of spring, and runs through April 14. Sign up to volunteer here.
© 2013 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.