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Nantucket Daffodil Festival 2016 - Nantucket, MA

Nantucket Daffodil Festival 2016 --Your Guide

The Daffodil Festival on Nantucket is a spectacular sight of sunny daffodils and radiant yellow everywhere. The festival idea was born back in the early 1970s, by the late Jean MacAusland. Mrs. McAusland, a former summer resident and publisher of Gourmet Magazine, encouraged the Nantucket Garden Club to invite the American Daffodil Society to sponsor a daffodil show. In addition, Mrs. MacAusland donated thousands of bulbs, which the community planted in public areas, resulting in an incredible one million plus bulbs being planted across the island.

In the early days, the festival was a very simple affair that consisted of an antique car parade in which islanders showed off their classic cars, followed by a community tailgate picnic in ‘Sconset. Today, the Daffodil Festival on Nantucket includes art shows, tours, parades, exhibitions, contests, lectures, and, of course, the wonderful Nantucket Daffodil Flower Show.

Locals see the festival as the time of year Nantucket wakes up, and it is about celebrating what has just ended (four months of dormancy) as well as the springtime that is to come. Hotels, shops, and restaurants re-open, and tourists make a joyful return to Nantucket’s cobblestone streets.

Children and adults of all ages enjoy the many festivities, including the Daffy Hat Contest, and the Children’s Parade that features colorfully decorated bikes, strollers, wagons, and anything else with wheels.

Don’t be surprised if you see men wearing flowered pants, women in intricate flower hats, and other outrageous outfits. Everyone enjoys dressing up and cutting loose after a long northeast winter.

This year’s festival will be held April 29 – May 1, 2016. Here are the highlights that you won’t want to miss! (For a full schedule of activities click here.)

April 29 Scavenger Hunt at Nantucket Daffodil Festival

Friday, April 29

  • Scavenger hunt starts (and goes through Sunday). Scour the downtown area for answers to questions in the Daffy Scavenger Hunt Brochure, created by Look Book author Barbara Tibbetts.  Correct answers to all 20 questions give the team a chance to win a prize.  Available at the Chamber Office, Zero Main Street. $10/ team. 508-228-3643.


  • 4 to 6 PM – Wine Tasting.  You be the judge at the Hip Rosé Taste-Off and don’t forget to stock up on your favorite wines to enjoy the rest of the weekend while you’re there.  Held at Épernay.  1 N Beach Street, near the White Elephant and the Nantucket Hotel. Parking in Back. 508.228.2755


  • 6 PM – Daffodil Dinner at the Farm. Kick off your Daffodil weekend with a family style dinner in the cozy Hayloft at Bartlett's Farm, 33 Bartlett Farm Road.  Dinner prepared by chef Neil Patrick Hudson and the Bartlett's Farm Kitchen Team. $40 per person, including tax & gratuity - BYOB.  Space is limited so it’s a good idea to make reservations at


Nantucket Daffy Dog Parade at Daffodil Festival

Saturday, April 30

  • 10 AM - Daffodil Festival Antique Car Assembly. Antique cars and motorcycles will assemble for viewing before the parade in downtown Nantucket.  Organized and sponsored by the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce.
  • 10:30 AM Annual Daffodil Festival Weekend Children's Parade 
    10:15AM Staging. 10:30 Start. 
    Fun for children of all ages and their families. Decorate your bicycle, wagon, skateboard, scooter, stroller or other self-propelled wheeled vehicles with a Daffodil theme. Cookies, lemonade & ribbons for all! Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult & all children on bicycles must wear a helmet. Sponsored by The Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and the White Elephant Hotel.  Children's Beach Bandstand, Harbor View Way. 508.228.1700
  • 10:30 AM (Or immediately after the Children's Parade) 
    Annual Daffodil Festival Weekend Daffy Hat Pageant. Show off your creativity! Men, women and children are invited to decorate a daffodil-themed hat - from elegant to goofy – and join the pageant! Ribbons awarded in the adult and children's categories. Sponsored by The Nantucket Chamber of Commerce Children's Beach Bandstand Harbor View Way. 508.228.1700
  • 12 PM - Annual Daffodil Festival Weekend Antique Car Parade & Tailgate Picnic.
    The parade route starts by taking a right onto Centre St., down Broad St. a right on to South Water St. & back up Main St. before taking a left onto Orange St. through the rotary and out Milestone Road to 'Sconset. Cars will line up on Main St. in 'Sconset for viewing and the Tailgate Picnic (1-3 PM). Sponsored by The Nantucket Chamber of Commerce. Zero Main St. 508.228.1700.
  • 12:30 PM - Annual Daffy Dog Parade. Register from 10 AM - 12 PM at the corner of Main & Federal Streets. All friendly dogs are welcome to participate, daffy costumes and decorations strongly encouraged. Dogs must be registered to win, prizes given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Hosted by Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals, $5 Suggested Donation.


  • 1- 3 PM- Children's Beach Picnic. Pack a picnic lunch and lay your blanket on Children's Beach while enjoying a free folk concert from the bandstand.  Kids will love a free ride around Brant Point in an antique fire truck provided by The Nantucket Hotel & Resort.  


  •  2 - 5 PM - 41st Annual Daffodil Flower Show. The Daffodil Show is sponsored by the Nantucket Garden Club, Member of the Garden Club of America and by the American Daffodil Society. It’s free and everyone is welcome! Held in the greenhouse at Bartletts Farm, 33 Bartlett Farm Rd. Click here for the complete Daffodil Flower Show program.


  • 6 - 7:30 PM – Bob Lehman Trio. Enjoy a wine and cheese reception while listening to The Bob Lehman Trio perform standards, popular, light jazz, oldies and Rock & Roll.  Bob Lehman vocalist, Diane T. Lehman pianist, Erik Wendelken Bass & Nick Hayden drums. Held at the Nantucket Community Music Center, 56 Centre Street, 102 Parlor.  $20.00 Tickets!


Sunday, May 1

  • 9 AM: Daffodil 5K Run.  The scenic course traverses the village of' 'Sconset's historic neighborhoods as well as ocean side roads. Hosted by the Nantucket Triathlon Club.
  • 10 AM - 4:30 PM: 41st Annual Daffodil Flower Show. The Daffodil Show continues!
    Held in the greenhouse at Bartletts Farm, 33 Bartlett Farm Rd. Click here for the complete Daffodil Flower Show program.