“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the lake beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
― William Wordsworth, I Wander’d Lonely as a Cloud
They say that the history of the daffodil in Gloucester, Virginia is nearly as old as the county itself, with the very first settlers here bringing the soft flower to these soils in 1651 as a reminder of their English springs.
The annual celebration of our famed Gloucester flower may not be quite as old, but we are gearing up for the 28th Annual Daffodil Festival on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6.
We hope you’re planning on coming to town. There are plenty of activities – daffodil-related and not so much – to enjoy while you’re here.
Interested in attending the main events of the festival? Plan on starting with the annual Daffodil Festival parade, scheduled for Saturday, April 5 at 10 am along Main Street. Don’t be surprised to see floats and displays ranging from classic cars to youth groups to Daff and Dil, the iconic symbols of the town’s largest festival of the year.
Throughout the day, along Main Street, enjoy mingling with thousands of locals and visitors, indulging in traditional festival fare (we have some good food here at Warner Hall, but there’s something about a good festival funnel cake!) and browsing the booth of artisans from across the Commonwealth.
Shops and eateries along Main Street will be open, too. Gloucester’s downtown business district features upscale ladies clothing, bake shops, a cupcakery, jewelry, a floral and gift shop, fresh produce and seafood market and more.
Coming for the stars of the show? Be sure to catch the bus to world-renowned (literally world and Martha Stewart renowned) Brent & Becky’s Bulbs for tours of their beautiful gardens. Buses leave on the half hour from the festival area.
Have gardening questions? No worries. An expert will be on hand Saturday morning. Nationally known horticulturist, author and lecturer Andre Viette will host a live broadcast of his call-in radio program bright and early Saturday morning, beginning at 8 a.m. in the colonial courthouse. If you don’t get all of your gardening questions answered there, then the Master Gardeners of Gloucester will be offering lectures throughout the day Saturday on Main Street.
Don’t worry about the kids. In fact, be sure to bring them! Throughout the day Saturday and Sunday, there will be a special area dedicated to pony rides and other children’s games, including laser tag and a petting zoo.
If walking up and down Main Street isn’t enough activity for you, take advantage of the Daffodil Festival 5K, to be held at Beaverdam Park this year on Sunday at 1 p.m., or the Daffodil Festival Rotary 2-Miler Fun Run at the same location at 2 p.m.
Before you leave town, be sure you show your LOVE for the Daffodil Festival and Gloucester. Stop and have your picture taken with the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s LOVE artwork, which travels across the state and will be on the lawn of the Gloucester Museum of History during the festival.
Look for more information at the sculpture on how your picture might just be selected as a winner. We hear the prizes include a stay at your favorite Virginia Bed and Breakfast here in Gloucester!
Don’t let the Daffodil Festival be your only visit to Gloucester this year. Check out this full listing of events throughout 2014 in what we call the Land of the Life Worth Living.
Photo above: The 2014 Daffodil Festival poster was painted by Carol Aldridge and unveiled in March at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. Posters will be available for purchase beginning April 2 at the Daffodil Festival Souvenir Store, the the historic court circle, for $15.