We welcome volunteers of all ages to help us in May raise and lower the West Newton Avenue of Flags. Individuals as well as groups are encouraged to join us.
Learn more about what to expect when volunteering with us. Thank you for your interest!
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I arrive the day of the event?
We start both raising and lowering the flags at 9 a.m., but we always have doughnuts and coffee to share, if you'd like to arrive closer to 8:45 a.m. to enjoy some!
Can I volunteer by myself or can I bring a group?
Yes, both individuals and groups (large and small) are welcome. It is best to work in teams of three to five, but anyone can be grouped together the day of the event. More volunteers are requested to help lower the flags (always a Saturday), because high school students help raise them (always a Friday). If you are leading a large group and are interested in volunteering, please let us know so we can accommodate you that day, and properly thank your group afterward.
What is provided to volunteers?
Coffee and doughnuts are available, bottled water is provided throughout the event, and pizza is available at the end of the event, all thanks to our generous community partners.
What goes into raising or lowering each flag?
When the display is raised, volunteers place each of the 10-foot flag poles along the cemetery pathways near a predetermined spot, marked by permanently embedded pieces of PVC pipe in the ground. Then, groups of three to five volunteers raise the poles into each hole, attaching hardware and a plaque, then clipping on the flag before raising each into place. The same process is reversed to take them down, when the flags are folded and stored for the next year. Tasks are available for every age and activity level, we're just glad you're supporting the Avenue of Flags!
What should I wear?
It is helpful to wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes that can help guide the metal pipes into or out of the ground. These shoes should also be comfortable, as you'll be walking and on your feet all morning. Dress for the weather, as we press on rain or shine!
What should I bring with me?
It is helpful, but not required, to bring a few tools (we will have sets available):
3/8" combination wrench
7/16" combination wrench
Where should I park?
Parking is permitted along any of the cemetery lanes that do not have flags along them. When entering, the lane off to your first left is the best for parking. Keep the roundabout near the cemetery office clear. The main travel lane that leads to and from the office should also remain clear of parked cars.
Can I raise or lower my loved one's flag?
Yes! Please contact us prior to the event and we will set aside your loved one's flag.
Are there restrooms at the cemetery?
Yes, there is one individual, gender-neutral restroom.
How long does it take to raise or lower the flags?
Times vary, but we usually finish at about noon, including time to eat pizza (donated for you to enjoy!).
When is the West Newton Memorial Day parade and service?
Held every year on the Monday when Memorial Day is observed, West Newton begins its parade at 9 a.m., which marches down Main Street, over the West Newton bridge, then turns left on to Vernon Drive before making another left into the exit gate of the West Newton Cemetery. The parade ends at the Memorial Grove, where permanent benches and a stage are the site of a short service.