Volunteer for Cherry Blossom Festival 2019!


San Diego's one and only Cherry Blossom Festival on March 22th, 23th and 24th!

Cherry Blossom Festival is a three-day festival that occupies the entirety of the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park and encompasses merchandise and food vendors and cultural performances, as well as playing host to the garden's blooming cherry blossom trees. This festival celebrates the traditional Japanese custom of hanami (花見)–appreciating the beauty of seasonal flowers. Between serving beer and tea, making arts and crafts in the kids area, manning our gift shop and more, there's a volunteer position for everyone. 

We have 12+ volunteer types for this festival and plan to recruit over 150 volunteers each day for smooth operations. Some stations are slower in pacing, others are fast-paced - there's a spot for every kind of volunteer! We ask that all volunteers are flexible in moving from position to position depending on volunteer needs. 

For more information about our Cherry Blossom Festival, please visit our festival page from here.


Thank you so much for choosing to volunteer at Cherry Blossom Festival! Please read below for important information and instructions!

  • Each volunteer will have a 30-minute lunch break. Refreshments will be available for all JFG Volunteers.

  • Volunteers are permitted to explore the festival during their lunch break, but will still be held accountable for returning within 30 minutes.

  • Volunteers who require letters or signatures for community service hours MUST CHECK IN&OUT AT THE VOLUNTEER CHECK-IN/BREAK AREA to receive credit. Otherwise, we cannot verify that you completed your hours.

  • Dress appropriately! Most stations are shaded but you may be out and about in the sun occasionally and on your feet most of the day. Wear comfortable, close-toed shoes.

  • Personal belongings may be stored in the volunteer check-in and rest area, but the JFG is not responsible for any theft or damage.


All volunteers are required to sign a liability waiver AND a volunteer conduct agreement upon arrival. IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE, A PARENT/GUARDIAN MUST SIGN THE WAIVER AND AGREEMENT DOCUMENTS AS WELL. You may find blank copies of the liability waiver and volunteer conduct agreement at this link here. Please download and bring hard copies of BOTH DOCUMENTS on the day of your shift.


If you need to cancel your shift, remove yourself from your position on Signup.com as soon as possible Please try to commit to your shift as much as possible. We understand that emergencies and last-minute cancellations are inevitable, but this event relies heavily on its volunteers. No volunteers, no Cherry Blossom Festival!


The Japanese Friendship Garden is located in Balboa Park at 2215 Pan American Rd E. The parking map below shows the southeastern corner of Balboa Park at the intersection of Park Blvd and President's Way, which is the Balboa Park entrance closest to the Japanese Friendship Garden. If you're taking the 163 South or 5 South to get the JFG, you will enter the park through this route.

Parking and Entrance Map 2018.jpg

The only other entrance to Balboa Park is on the west side over the Cabrillo Bridge (street name El Prado), which can be accessed via the 6th Avenue exit from the 5 North. This street will become Pan American Rd E, which connects to west end of President's Way (on the corner of the Air and Space Museum Lot).

Parking will be more limited than usual during the festival. Therefore, please be sure to give yourself some extra time.

Like our other festivals, we'd recommend carpooling or getting dropped off via ride-sharing service or friends/parents, especially if you're volunteering for the afternoon shift.

If you're parked a little farther away from the JFG than you'd care to walk, the Balboa Park Tram drops visitors off at strategic points throughout the park, including a stop right across the street from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, which is very close to the JFG entrance. View the Balboa Park Tram website and map here.

Finding the JFG itself - and specifically the Back Gate we're requesting volunteers to enter through - can be tricky since our entrance is not very prominent. We're located right next to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, which is a big white outdoor stage with Roman columns. You can navigate to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion with walking directions on Google Maps.


Approaching from the front of the Organ Pavilion: If you can see the Organ Pavilion stage from the front, the JFG entrance should be to your left. Do NOT try to enter through our main entrance; instead, follow the black fencing all the way to the end.

Approaching from behind the Organ Pavilion: If you're behind the Organ Pavilion in the Organ Pavilion Parking Lot, walk towards the Pavilion until you find the Fire Lane. Walk along the Fire Lane and you will run into our back gate at the end of the lane.


If you have any questions or need special accommodations, feel free to contact the Volunteer&Outreach Coordinator at volunteer@niwa.org.

Thank you so much for choosing to volunteer with the JFG - see you all in March!