The annual Nantucket Daffodil Festival is a welcome splash of bright color to the island, after the long months of winter on “the Gray Lady”, as Nantucket is fondly known. One thing is certain in Nantucket, when the daffodils bloom, there will be crowds in yellow outfits cheering along with parades of cars and bikes decorated in their daffy best!
These bright yellow flowers come back year after year, just like the summer visitors, and are the ultimate spring island flower! Thanks to decades of work by the Nantucket Garden Club, the island comes alive with over three million daffodils each spring!
The end of April sees the island celebrating the start of the season with the Nantucket Daffodil Festival. The event embodies a new season’s bright, hopeful energy and is usually marked by sunny yellow outfits, crazy hats, decorated storefronts and antique cars, parades, picnics, and more!
The Flower Power Party will kick off the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce’s 47th Annual Nantucket Daffodil Festival weekend with a celebration at the Whaling Museum. The festivities include music and dancing, hors d’oeuvres, an online auction and a prize for the best “blooming” outfit.
The entire community of Nantucket comes together to create this weekend long festival, supported by local community donations and businesses. One of the most anticipated events of the year is always a Daffy good time!
History of the Nantucket Daffodil Festival
The event has been running for over 47 years, beginning with the Nantucket Garden Club’s first annual Daffodil Show in 1975. In 1978 garden club member Jean MacAusland led an effort to plant one million daffodil bulbs on Nantucket, starting with 30,000 that fall.
The following September, the group planted a whopping 8 tons of daffodil bulbs! With more and more plantings every year and the natural spread of daffodils, it’s estimated that there are about 2 million daffodils now blooming on the island of Nantucket.
The garden club continues to plant bulbs, and you’ll see the sunny flowers along roadways and bike paths across the island. The Garden Club also works with local schools to help students plant their daffodils and enter the flowers in the spring Flower Show.
As the daffodils bloomed and multiplied, the festival grew as well. From the Daffodil Flower Show to an antique car parade, art shows, contests, the famous ‘Sconset picnic, window decorating, a pet show, tours, the Daffy Hat Contest, Children’s Parade, Morris Dancers, lectures, and more!
Events of the 47th Annual Nantucket Daffodil Festival
If you decorate your antique car in the spirit of the Daffodil Festival you can join in the Car Parade & Picnic. The festive cars will start to gather at on Main Street early on Saturday. At noon this decorated procession will proceed out to ‘Sconset for the Tailgate Picnic.
The 47th Annual Daffodil Show, sponsored by the Nantucket Garden Club, will be held in the greenhouses at Bartlett’s Farm on Saturday April 29th. The theme this year upon which they will be judged is “Seas Of Daffodils”.
There will also be plenty of other daffodil-themed activities throughout the day at Children’s Beach.These include the popular Daffodil Hat Parade, Daffodil Children’s Parade, Live Entertainment, and of course a Dog Parade.
The parades fun spectator events for the whole family, you’ll have a great time seeing what other folks are up to in their daffy best. Or don your brightest and most elaborate daffodil-inspired hat creation and join in the fun! If you need help in making a stunning hat you can join the “Flower Crown Party” at the dreamland Theater on Thursday April 27th and create your own.
Bring the Daffodils to Your Own Front yard
They note that deer and rabbits leave the daffodils alone and that they thrive in the island’s well-drained soils. They also have great input on which varieties you’ll want to plant in the fall for early, mid, and late-season blooms and daffodils with stunning and unique blooms!
However, if you’re celebrating the festival this year, be sure to get out and enjoy the cheerful flowers blooming across the island. The wonderful thing about the daffodils is their perennial nature. They keep coming back, just like the Nantucket Daffodil Festival!