Isolated off the coast of Cape Cod, shades of yellow blanket a small island 36 miles out to sea. More than three million Narcissuses have been planted throughout the 48 square miles of what many consider to be one of the most beautiful islands in North America. The annual Nantucket Daffodil Festival is a bright and uplifting harbinger of spring. Fair weather has arrived to this corner of New England. Taking place the 4th weekend in April, the massive celebration of all things Daffy officially asserts a new season has begun for the Grey Lady.
Now in its 45th year, the annual event features specimens of the perennial flower in tones of sunshine yellow, creamy white, salmon pink and every gradation in between. While normally the stunning beaches and rose covered cottages take center stage on this summer playground, for these two days, it’s all about spring and the popular daffodils.
What started as a simple celebration in the 1970’s featuring antique cars, is now an event that includes art shows, tours, contests, lectures and a flower show featuring every form of Amaryllidaceae one could imagine.
Children colorfully paint the windows of storefronts. As a dog-friendly island, an extra dose of humor comes in the form of good-natured furry friends in priceless costumes. This is one instagram-worthy event!
The Pine Woods Morris Dancers perform regularly at different venues on the island. They bring their special brand of English folk dance and music to the family oriented festival. The island itself is overflowing with talented creatives who stretch their limits with designs for the antique car parade; this is truly the main event.
After making their way through the town’s cobbled streets, the parade winds along Milestone Road to the other end of the island. The gigantic picnic in Siasconset is a crowd pleaser. Complete with candelabra, tablecloths and a plethora of food and drink, the picnic finishes off the day’s celebration.
New Englanders are a hearty bunch. Many would argue there is no group happier to see the arrival of spring in North America. Visitors return to the island year after year for a beloved festival that says good-bye to what is usually a cold and dark season. Residents plan their costumes and classic car décor for months in advance, perhaps getting them through weather that chases many off-island to warmer climes. On this seaside destination, the annual celebratory event of renewal is wrapped in nostalgia, filled with tradition and tied with an enormous yellow floral bow.