Saturday, May 7, 2011

Daffy Daze

Last weekend was the Daffodil Festival on Nantucket. It is always a good time.  After a long Winter everyone is more than ready for Spring and it is reflected in the amount of prep (as in preparation, but I guess in this instance it could mean Preppy-ness too) put into the event.  People put a lot of effort into their cars, hats, outfits, dog costumes, bike/wagon decoration & tailgate parties which is what makes it such a special weekend & so much fun! 

The first event (I think) was the judging of the Window Decorating Contest in the stores around town on Friday.  Winners:
Most Traditional-1st: Nantucket Pharmacy 2nd: Cold Noses 3rd: Young’s Bicycle Shop
HM: Johnston’s Cashmere.
Most Creative -- 1st: Vis-à-vis 2nd: J. McLaughlin 3rd: Nantucket Gourmet
HM: Sweet Inspirations.

The next, around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, was the Children's Parade, kids decorated their bikes, wagons & scooters, etc, with daffodils and anything else the could think of. Then at 10:45 a.m., the Hat Pagent kicked off, both of these took place down at Children's Beach. After that the Antique Car Parade began at Noon on Main Street.  Then came the Dog Parade at 12:30 p.m. This is a free event but I think they should have a suggested donation of $1 (those who can't afford it don't have to pay, those who can afford it would gladly give more) the proceeds of which would go to the MSPCA.  My dog, Bacon (pictured), always shakes off his costume so we never win. I took the half of his costume that ended up on the cobblestones and pinned it to my head like a fascinator a la a royal wedding guest, it did not help our chances.

Photo: Amanda Morgan
By far, the main events are the Antique Car Parade & following Tailgate Picnic.  The cars are decorated with varying degrees of daffodils and many have a theme (e.g., "The Nantucket Hillbillies".) Awards are given to the Best Decorated, Oldest, Most Creative, etc. Then the cars all drive out to 'Sconset on the Eastern most part of the island (7 miles away.) There they have a giant tailgate picnic where more prizes are awarded for the best fare & various themes.  We ran into our friend George at the tailgate picnic, he'd restored an old Jeep that he'd found on Craigslist. They only made a few of this model so it was very unique. 

There was also a flower show at Barlett's Farm and a book sale at the Antheneum (very dangerous, as you end up with 20 pounds of books that you have to cart around/get off the island.)

This year from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. there was a party at the Cisco Brewery (dogs welcome!) with a band.  At 6:30 p.m. the "Spring Down the House" dinner dance at the Yacht Club kicked off to benefit The Small Friends of Nantucket.  At 7:30 p.m., the "Daffodil Swing Dance" started a few blocks away at 11 Centre St., to benefit the alzheimer's group, Rythym Brake Cares.  They offered dancing lessons at the begining of the event which I thought was a very good/fun idea.

A number of bars & resturants opened for the weekend after being closed all winter.  A few new bars & restaurants opened up too. Some places offered special drinks & tasting menus.  At Dune, the bartender had what looked like a floral arrangement of irises on the bar but she told us she was preparing the flowers to use in a drink!

There were numerous art shows, gallery openings (free wine!) and lots of other events too.

Some of the best pictures are on the Inky MirrorMahon About Town sites.

Plan ahead for next year! "Daffy" is usually the third weekend in April but it was pushed back by one week this year due to a late Easter.  All the info is on the Chamber of Commerce site.

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