Event Details

This is a volunteer event to retrieve/remove the 250,000+ holiday wreaths that we helped place at Arlington National Cemetery on December 16. Thousands of volunteers are needed and you are welcome to be part of our Washington, DC History & Culture team or help out on your own. This event is open to the public and all are welcome including children, families and groups.

Pre-registration, while not required, is appreciated so that we know how many people to expect, and also so that you can receive any event updates.

This event is sponsored by Washington, DC History & Culture:


Important Event Details

Weather: The event will take place in cold weather, rain, snow, etc. - all except significant “unsafe” conditions such as a blizzard. If it’s on the calendar, then we’re proceeding as scheduled.

What To Bring: Dress for the winter weather. Any tools or devices such as a lawn rake, pole or rope to help carry more wreaths is helpful but not required.

Metro Station: Arlington Cemetery.

Parking: In most instances not available on the cemetery grounds for this event. Take the Metro or park off-site and walk in.

Meeting Point: 8:00 - 8:15 outside the ANC Welcome Center, past the security checkpoint. At 8:15 AM sharp we'll head out into the cemetery. You are also free to volunteer on your own. If you arrive after that and/or are unable to locate our team then just help out anywhere as volunteers are needed throughout.

We're not sure what section we'll be volunteering in as we'll go where we're needed.

How Long Will It Take: Not sure exactly as it depends on the number of volunteers that show up but plan on a couple of hours. Everyone is free to arrive and depart whenever they like.

Post-Event: None.

Wreath Retrieval/Clean-Up Day

Join us on Saturday, January 20, 2018 for Wreath Retrieval/Clean-up Day!

There is no sign-up or registration required to participate. This is a family oriented event and we encourage families of all ages to participate. Just show up at the designated time and place!


8:00AM: All Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) pedestrian gates open

8:00AM: ANC Welcome Center Parking Lot opens (only vehicles with handicap permits and Permanent ANC Family Gravesite permits will be allowed to park in the Welcome Center. Parking is free until 3:00PM.)

8:30AM: Opening Ceremony- Brief Volunteer Instructional Briefing at McClellan Gate located just off Eisenhower Drive between Section 33 and 12, on McClellan Drive

8:45AM: Wreath clean-up begins


Volunteers are asked to pick up ONLY those WAA wreaths placed in December, leaving any other wreaths or decorations in place.There will be several dumpsters placed throughout the cemetery to dispose of the wreaths. There are a limited number of dumpsters available—please pack the wreaths as tightly as possible in the dumpstersWe'd love if our volunteers could stay at least until 12:00 noon, to help with any extra wreath disposal needed at locations throughout the cemetery.

Parking at the ANC Welcome Center

The ANC Welcome Center Parking Lot will open at 8:00AM and will have free parking until 3:00PM.

Only vehicles with Permanent ANC Family Gravesite Passes and those with valid Handicap Permits will be allowed to park at Welcome Center Parking Lot.

Vehicles with Handicap Parking Permits will be accommodated in the ANC Administrative Building Parking Lot, until it reaches capacity.

All Vehicles with ANC Family Passes and Handicap Permits will be accommodated in the ANC parking garage, until it reaches capacity.

Any vehicles arriving before the cemetery’s opening at 8:00AM will be required to depart and return at 8:00AM.

There will be Bus parking available in the Welcome Center garage for approximately 33 buses.

For the safety of all involved, no private vehicles will be allowed to enter the Cemetery grounds until after 3:00pm on Wreath Clean-up Day.

There will be NO General Public parking at the Welcome Center Parking Lot until after 3:00pm on Wreath Clean-up Day.

Due to the limited and restricted parking requirements, we encourage volunteers to use the Metro Rail system.

Metro Rail System Tips:

Buy your SmarTrip card in advance to avoid delays—not on Saturday morning.

You can purchase at any station or online at http://wmata.com/fares/smartrip/

Visitors and volunteers should expect long lines and crowded conditions when entering and leaving the Arlington Cemetery Station.

ANC Pedestrian Gates

All ANC pedestrian gates will open at 8:00AM. Clockwise from north these gates include:

Ord-Weitzel Gate (near the Iwo Jima Memorial and Rosslyn Metro)

Main Cemetery and the Welcome Center Gates (nearest Arlington Cemetery Metro)

South Maintenance Complex Gate (nearest Pentagon and Pentagon City Metro (PLEASE NOTE: the maintenance gate will close at 2:00PM on Saturday; if you want to exit via the maintenance gate, please make sure you do so before 2:00PM).

Fort Myer Old Post Chapel Gate

Additional Questions: Anything that can’t be answered by the above event description, Google, or common sense please let us know.

We look forward to seeing you - thanks!

Robert Kelleman

[email protected]


  • When: Sat Jan. 20
    8:00 am - 11:00 am

  • Address: Welcome Center
    Arlington VA,US 22211

  • Web: Visit Website