From early April to mid-May, Nantucket sees more than three million daffodils bloom. Beautiful yellow blossoms along the shop windows, gardens, and roadsides make the island a magical place during this season.
One fun way to celebrate spring flower blooming is to attend the Nantucket Daffodil Festival. The festival brings visitors and islanders together to celebrate the arrival of spring and the end of winter. It has always been marked by floral parades, parties, and picnics for nearly half a century.
The 47th Nantucket Daffodil Festival, hosted by the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce, will take place from April 27 to April 30, 2023. With the year’s theme set to be “Seas of Daffodils,” here’s how to have a good time at the festival:
A Brief History of the Daffodil Festival
The Daffodil Festival is usually scheduled for the last weekend in April every year. It features weekend events aimed at celebrating springtime on the island of Nantucket.
Its history dates back to 1975 when the Nantucket Garden Club held the first Daffodil Show. At that time, Jean MacAusland was credited for encouraging the garden club to organize this show.
It took place in the Nantucket Boys’ and Girls’ Club and featured 250 entries with 9 categories of blooms. And later, in 1978, the festival expanded to include an antique car parade followed by a Siasconset community tailgate picnic.
Over the years, the Daffodil Festival has evolved to feature contests, exhibitions, tours, a pet show, and art shows. Its event venues have been convenient for families, groups, and individuals visiting the island. They are close to vacation rentals that give attendees the privacy and homely feel they need.
Every year, the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce releases an event schedule of the Daffodil Festival. The schedule includes activities for all ages and many opportunities to dress up and socialize. Here are the events lined up for this year’s festival:
Flower Crown Party (April 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM)
The Flower Crown Party is the perfect event to attend with your floral outfit. It takes place at the Dreamland Theatre, where you’ll also have lessons on making lush flower crowns. Thanks to the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce, attendees can win a specially-styled Daffodil Swag Bag.
The Flower Party (April 28, 6-8 PM)
The NHA is thrilled to invite everyone to join them for the 5th Annual Flower Power Party at the Whaling Museum on April 28, 2023 from 6-8 pm!
Come celebrate with us and take part in a wonderful evening of fun and festivities. Enjoy music, art, food and drinks, and so much more! Experience the beauty of the historical Nantucket and its culture.
This event will be a great opportunity to meet new people, talk to friends and family, as well as to explore the museum grounds. Come out and show your support for the NHA and its mission!
We look forward to seeing you at the Flower Power Party and hope you have a wonderful time!
Antique Car Parade and Tailgate Picnic (April 29 from 9:30 to 3 PM)
At this event, you get to see a parade of vintage cars lining up on Main Street. Visitors can view them until just before 12 noon, when they will parade out to ’Sconset for a thrilling picnic.
Hat Pageant (Saturday, April 29th from 10:30AM-1:30PM)
Are you ready to show off your creativity? Why not make a Daffodil-themed hat (elegant or goofy – it’s all fabulous!) for the Pageant? It’s open to men, women, and children, and ribbons will be awarded in both the adult and children categories. Join us at 10:30AM at the Children’s Beach Bandstand on Harbor View Way and don’t miss out on this Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce Signature Event! For more info, call 508 228 1700.
Children’s Bike Parade (Saturday, April 29th from 10:30AM-1:30PM)
Come join us for an event for all ages! Decorate your bike, wagon, skateboard, stroller, or other self-propelled vehicles with a daffodil theme. Don’t forget to wear your best daffy gear! There will be awarding ribbons to all participants.
Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. All children on bikes must wear helmets. Join us at 10:30 am at Children’s Beach Bandstand on Harbor View Way. This is a signature event of the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce.
NanPuppets at Children’s Beach (Time TBA)
All roads lead to Children’s Beach for an original family-friendly performance by Lizza Obremski. The NanPuppets performance is a delight to all ages.
Meet Barnaby Bear at Children’s Beach (Time TBA)
Join Wendy Rouillard (an author) and Barnaby Bear (her best pal) for a meet-and-greet session at Children’s Beach. Plenty of surprise giveaways will be available.
Daffodil Festival Bazaar (Sunday, April 30th, 10AM-2PM)
We are so excited for the second Daffodil Bazaar, which will be held on Sunday, April 30th, from 10AM to 2PM, at The Tavern & Gazebo Outdoor Patio, located at 4 Harbor Square.
This is your chance to experience the Daffodil Festival in a new and unique way! The Tavern & Gazebo’s beautiful outdoor patio will be transformed into a Daffodil Wonderland, complete with amazing vendors and cheerful music. You won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to explore a wide range of small businesses, from photography to crisps. Come join the fun!
Daffy Dog Parade (Time TBA)
Spruce up your pup in their daffodil finest for a barking good time! Join the Chamber and NiSHA for a delightful Daffodil Dog Parade. There will be awards for the cutest canine for a fun-filled day with the entire family.
Sign up for the parade on Main Street during the Antique Car Show or at Children’s Beach after 12:15 PM. All dogs will gather at the Children’s Beach bandstand, Harbor View Way, shortly after the Antique Cars make their way to Siasconset. Don’t miss out on this Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce Signature Event!
What to Wear
Your outfit can help you embrace this colorful springtime celebration. So, wear something vibrant (particularly yellow) and pair it with a colorful fun hat. Expect most attendees to wear cheerful yellow attire all through the weekend.
Remember to layer up your outfit and carry an umbrella for the unpredictable weather. A layered outfit can help you stay warm and comfortable when it gets chilly.
How to Get to the Festival
Whether you are arriving by plane or by boat, traveling to and from the island of Nantucket can be a magical experience. If you plan to use the ferry, check the Nantucket ferry schedules and consider the following as your options:
- The Steamship Authority High-Speed and Traditional Car Ferry (from Hyannis, MA)
- Hy-Line Cruises High-Speed Ferry (from Hyannis, MA)
- Seastreak High-Speed Ferry from New Bedford, MA
Transportation Options on the Island
One convenient way to get across the island is by using the shuttle service by the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority shuttle service. Be sure to check the shuttle schedule before using the service.
With numerous car rental agencies operating in Nantucket, rental vehicles are also a great option. You can book them in advance since they take at least two weeks to be ferried to the island.
The Nantucket Regional Transport Authority’s Your Island Ride caters to people with disabilities and the elderly. It operates as a wheelchair-accessible van only available through booking in advance. NRTA’s PARATransit is also available for people with disabilities.
Besides car rentals, you can use a taxi or rely on guided tours to explore the island. For guided tours, you need to book at least 24 hours in advance.
Being one of Nantucket’s most colorful events, the Daffodil Festival attracts crowds from different parts of the country. It offers islanders and visitors a unique opportunity to mark springtime in vibrant outfits and events. If you plan to visit Nantucket in spring, check out this festival.