In his hit song “Reality,” Kenny Chesney offers the perfect prescription to “feel a sense of freedom and leave our worries behind” with his lyrics “all we need is a sunny day and an old tailgate.” We were treated to an extraordinary sunny day and more than a few fabulous tailgates last weekend as Nantucket celebrated its Annual Daffodil Festival. With an estimated three million daffodils in bloom, the island was awash in yellow and the coveted flower stole the show at the weekend events.
The festivities began on Friday with the re-opening of many local restaurants and retail shops and the unveiling of a giant magic daffodil garden by the Nantucket Arts Council. Saturday featured the Daffodil Flower Show sponsored by the Nantucket Garden Club, the Kids Parade, Hat Pageant and Dog Parade. The headline event of the weekend was the Classic Car Show and Parade which showcased dozens of creatively decorated and occupied classic cars that wound their way through downtown and then led a huge contingency of enthusiastic “Daffys” out to ‘Sconset for the annual island picnic.
I’m no novice when it comes to tailgating. The most fun you could have in small town Iowa on a Friday night was gathering with a large group of friends in the school parking lot before a sporting event with a lawn chair, a grill full of burgers and a cooler full of cold drinks. My horizons have been broadened as Nantucket raised the bar on the traditional tailgate event. On Saturday afternoon, Main Street ‘Sconset was lined with hundreds of creative picnic farers. Elaborately adorned tables with china and crystal set up alongside their classic Ferrari, were nestled alongside red checkered picnic blankets where friends munched on cold cut sandwiches and lemonade served from the tailgate of their family truck.
Daffy Fever was viral with most everyone donning yellow gear for the day. Some chose to follow a theme like the Pan Am Crew, Great Gatsby, Critter Cafe and Fifty Shades of Yellow (only on Nantucket!). Several restaurants set up tasting stations with The Green featuring delicious marinated grilled colossal shrimp and a mouth-watering carrot cake and Topper’s from The Wauwinet carving thick slices of a roasted bone-in ham. The mood was fun and festive as revelers strolled up the quaint ‘Sconset street, sipped Mint Juleps and Limoncello, admired neighboring picnic spreads and re-connected with old friends.
As another season gets underway on Nantucket we turn our focus to other spring and summer celebrations. It’s not too late to secure a vacation rental for the Nantucket Wine Festival, FIGAWI, Nantucket Film Festival or a multi-week stay in paradise. You too can gather friends on the lawn or one of the island’s beautiful beaches for a tailgate party or family picnic.
Let’s do lunch.