Photo Courtesy of Molly Callahan l Record-Journal
It’s that time of the year again…the Daffodil Festival
Festivals and fairs have never been my thing. People rave about the Durham Fair, the Big E, all of those things. Well, I think I’ve been to the Big E once, haven’t been to the Durham Fair in years, went to the Apple Harvest Festival for about 10 minutes…you see where this is headed.
In fact, before I started working at the RJ, I hadn’t been to the Daffodil Festival pretty much at all in years and years. I must get my enthusiasm for these things from my mom who also doesn’t get too excited for the Daffodil Festival.
I mean, for those from Meriden, you’ve grown up your entire life with it. Every year it’s fairly similar: the rides, the food, some combination of music, Hubbard Park, Little Miss Daffodil, and so on. If you’ve done it once, you’ve done it a thousand times.
Before I go any further down this road and those who love the Daffodil Festival come and throw rocks at my house, I’ll turn this post around.
See, the fall festivals I’m not big on. I like the fall for like 2 weeks and then it gets too cold for me. I always associated the fall with going back to school and therefore was not a fan. I’m a spring-summer type of person.
So back to the Daffodil Festival, which essentially signals the “real” start of spring. It also signals that things are headed toward summer. Since 2010, I’ve been to the festival each year. Most of those years I went both days either for leisure or for work. This year, it’ll be one day, Saturday for work.
In years past, I’ve covered the business expo, Little Miss Daffodil, the sponsor’s gala, the actual festival, and so on. I probably needed a few years away from the festival to learn how to enjoy it more.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate waiting in lines and having to push through groups of people. But the event altogether? Pretty impressive. You’re talking about thousands and thousands of people who come together for mostly just two days of enjoyment. Hundreds of people bank on just two days for good weather. If they get it, things go right for fundraising. Don’t get it, things go sour. Same for the Daffodils. You need the right conditions or you miss the flowers.
Right now, Weather.com shows 67 degree weather for Saturday, which would be lovely, if not for the chance of rain. A cooler 59 degrees for Sunday. It’s still early, so things could change, but some fingers will be crossed (including my own, having to cover the event).
I wish I had some great Daffodil Festival stories. The truth is, I don’t. I don’t remember many individual festivals, but I’m not sure you’re suppose to. When each year is similar, that’s the way it goes. But you go back every year, or nearly every year, for a reason. It might be the food, the fireworks, the music, the parade, whatever. The real answer is the people. You know you’re going to bump into people you know, live with, work with, hang out with, and that’s a real reason why you show up. Because once you run into your friends, you fried food with them, hang out and enjoy it all together. And few things are better than that.
Having played in the Maloney HS band, I did march in the parade for four years, or however many years the parade was not canceled while in high school due to weather. I’ll say I was there at least three out of four years. It’s a relatively short, easy parade, but then you hop back on the bus and leave. I don’t remember spending much time during high school there.
In middle school I do remember a handful of us getting left behind at the park following the parade. That’s another story, but still somewhat memorable.
But it’s the more recent years that I remember most, whether covering it or going with my wife and kids and simply enjoying the day. It gives you something to do on a Saturday or Sunday, but it’s also pretty well-done by the event planners.
Festivities are this weekend starting Saturday morning and running all weekend. And don’t forget Little Miss Daffodil and the other events throughout the week.