From the first Daffodil Show on Nantucket in 1974, the festival has grown to include many more activities, and surely more daffodils. The tradition was first sponsored by the Nantucket Garden club and was highlighted by the planting of daffodils along Milestone Road. The group had a goal of someday reaching one million daffodils. With the help of island residents and professional landscapers, that goal has been far surpassed. It is estimated from early April to mid-May, three million daffodils bloom and help to decorate present-day Nantucket.
• Annual Window Decorating Contest
Local retail establishments and restaurants that participate and decorate their storefronts can be awarded for most creative display and also most traditional display. This is a great opportunity to get involved, but also a fantastic way for business owners to spruce up their windows as visitor traffic begins to increase with the warmer weather.
• Annual Antique Car Parade
This is one of the most popular and highly anticipated events of the entire festival. The number of registered participants is generally over 100, so pre-registration is a must. Antique cars are decorated and then lined up on Main Street, set to be judged in the following categories:
o Most Authentic
o Most Traditional
o Most Creative
o People’s Choice
After the automobiles have been judged, the parade begins. The parade goes throughout Nantucket Town and ends in Sconset. The parade generally begins at 12 PM and concludes at 1:30 PM.
• Annual Daffodil Children's Parade
Beginning at Children’s Beach, children of all ages, as well as their families, are invited to decorate bicycles, strollers and wagons, keeping in mind the Daffodil theme. Everyone is a winner in this event, so refreshments and ribbons will be provided to all participants. It is required that all Children under age 10, need to be accompanied by an adult.
• Annual Daffy Hat Pageant
Fashion meets fun at the Children’s Beach Band Stand for this festival event. Anyone can participate in this event by decorating and sporting a self-made “Daffy Hat”. A Daffy hat is a hat made from Daffodils, found on Nantucket. Many different colors of daffodils bloom on Nantucket each year, so creating a beautiful hat is something that anyone is capable of.
• Annual Daffy Dog Parade
The Daffodil Festival really does have events to include everyone – children, adults and even dogs! Following the antique car show, dogs with daffodil décor will be judged and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards will be given. Pre-registration is required.
• Annual Daffodil Tailgate Picnic
Following the Antique Car show, the community is invited to meet at the end of the parade route, for a picnic in Sconset. You can come and enjoy great food and friends or you can enter in the picnic contest. Please contact the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce for official rules on this AMATEUR ONLY competition.
Keep in mind that parking is very limited. This would be a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and walk or bike to this event.
Carpooling is also suggested.
• 43rd Annual Daffodil Flower Show
This event, sponsored by the Nantucket Garden Club and American Daffodil Society, features exhibits in photography, art and horticulture. Admission for this event is free.
For more information about the weekend’s festivities and for registration in the Antique Car Parade, please call 508-228-1700. You can also learn more about the history of the Daffodil Festival and upcoming events by checking out the Daffodil Festival page: http://www.nantucketchamber.org/daffodil-festival.html