The Boston Dragon Boat Festival is a festival run entirely by volunteers, including all members of the festival committee. Hundreds of volunteers help each year with all aspects of the races and cultural festival. Please join us to bring another successful Dragon Boat Festival to the general public for the year 2017!

Benefits of being a Dragon Boat Festival volunteer include the satisfaction of contributing to an important Asian cultural event, having the opportunity to participate in an exciting and fun festival, as well as earning a festival souvenir for you as a thank you gift. We will also issue community service certification for students who request it.

See below for a description of the key areas where you can contribute.  For further information please contact the Festival.

Dock Staff Volunteer

Dock Staff Volunteers are needed to help out during practices and on both race days.


Practices are generally held weeknights and occasionally on weekends in the weeks leading up to the Festival weekend.  Volunteers are needed to help check teams in, set up and put away the boats and equipment, load/unload teams, and to coach teams and help train drummers and steerers.  Shifts start 30 minutes prior to the first practice and end 30 minutes after the last practice.  We operate 9 dragon boats each hour on the river during practices.

Saturday June 10, 2017 - Race Time Trials and Seeding

In addition to the activities listed above, we need people to help with team registration, setting up the race course, organizing paddles and life jackets by lanes on the docks, and gathering teams so they are ready to load as soon as teams from the previous race are finished unloading and off the docks.

Sunday June 11, 2017 - Race Finals

The day starts bright and early at the MIT Pierce Boathouse where we load all of the equipment on to the dragon boats and tie them up to prepare for the journey to the Festival site by Harvard.  Sit back and enjoy the ride as you make your way up the calm Charles river and take in the fresh morning air.  Around 6 am when we arrive at the Festival site, we need volunteers to help rope off the team gathering areas, organize life jackets and paddles by lane, set up the buoys for the race course and assemble the heads and tails of the dragons on to the boats. 

During the races, we need volunteers to help gather the teams to the staging areas and to help load and unload the boats as they prepare to launch or return from their races.

After a successful day of racing, we need people to help pack up all the equipment and load them back into the dragon boats for the return journey to MIT. 

For additional information on the things we do to help make the races run smoothly and safely, read the Dock Staff duties.

Festival Volunteer

Volunteers are needed for the festival side in the following three shifts on Sunday June 11, 2017:

8:30-11:30 set up tables and chairs for the arts and crafts stations, performance tents as well as sponsors' tents; help  sponsors and food vendors with set-up; other general help;

11:30-2:30 help with crowd control for performances; help with arts and crafts, as well as sponsors' activities stations;

2:30-5:30 help with arts and crafts, as well as sponsors' activities stations; help with tables and chairs break down after the performances and activities.