Our 2020 festival volunteer application and shift enrollment is now open!


The Portland Winter Light Festival is a free, all-ages, non-profit event that takes place with the help of hundreds of volunteers. It truly is a community event put on by the community for the community. We come together each winter to illuminate the Portland cityscape with interactive light art large and small transforming parks, paths, the river, and architecture into a magical dream bringing us all outdoors to laugh and marvel together.

The mission of the Portland Winter Light Festival is to build community by bringing art and technology to inclusive audiences while invigorating Portland in the winter.

Come help us turn on the lights again this year and make more magic!.


Do you love art, science, music, education, event production, community service, or a good time drinking hot cocoa in mittens with friends…

Are you a people person, or do you love quietly working behind the scenes…

Do you like to just show up and help anywhere, organize a group of friends, or bring your own fantastic special skills and leadership to the party…


We love it ALL!

We have roles for every orientation in our friendly and inclusive volunteer community! Our work heats up annually in late summer, catches fire with the autumn leaves, and explodes into full radiance for the lights of winter. So you can find something you like supporting pre-festival gatherings and workshops, the main festival event in early February, or helping out packing up the tents and getting set for next year!

Here are some key ways you might choose to get involved.

Work the festival

The main 3-day festival returns February 6-8, 2020. We need over 350 volunteers to turn on the lights. The #1 thing that makes us a success is you working the festival.

Festival volunteer needs include:

  • Install/Strike

  • Hospitality

  • Art Guardian

  • Fire Tender

  • Survey + Crowd Counting Squad

  • And more!

Bring +1 friend

Bring +1 friend or +10! If each of us inspires just +1 other person to become a volunteer, we will have even more fun volunteering together! We need a lot of you to succeed and your voice helps us reach more people. Groups are more than welcome and we make it easy for you to work together.

Want to bring a group? Let us know on your application or email us directly at: 



Lead a team

Running a festival in multiple locations around town takes a talented group of passionate supervisor-volunteers looking after all of us. In 2019 we had 30+ unpaid team supervisor roles for art support, information, recycling, merchandise, crowd-counting, educational programs, hospitality, volunteer check-in, and more. We don’t get too formal with each other, but we all have a passion for excellence, fun, and caring for our volunteers and guests!

Help us fundraise

We work very hard to keep this festival free to the public. It takes creativity, persistence, and elbow grease to grow our sponsor support and help small donors connect with our message. Our donations team was one of the most colorful and had the best time of all our teams last year. If you like fun, we could sure use your energy! Want to be where the fun is at? – Let us know on your application or email us directly at volunteer@pdxwlf.com

Spread our outreach

One of our greatest priorities is reaching out to new audiences, expanding access to our event, and drawing more people into the creative and volunteer opportunities that are our heart and soul. Can you help us connect to your communities? Are you part of a company, school association, neighborhood, faith, or other organization that would like to help us spread word of the festival? Can you post flyers, write an article for a small publication, or share our announcements on your social media? Okay, let’s talk! Please contact us at volunteer@pdxwlf.com


Join our people team

A small group of us are drawn to the work of helping to recruit, organize, train, and deploy a very large group of volunteers and staff. We are few, but we are mighty! Come aboard and help us nourish and coordinate this big colorful group of volunteers, mobilize our existing supporters, and attract new ones.


Jeremy Reynolds, Volunteer Director




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