With more than 600,000 sunny daffodils in bloom, the annual Meriden Daffodil Festival can certainly be called Connecticut's most colorful free spring event. It's one of many spring flower festivals that draw visitors to New England, and it's well worth the trip to this central Connecticut town.
The Daffodil Festival in Meriden celebrates its 41st year in 2019, and in addition to fragrant fields of yellow and white daffodils in 61 varieties, you'll also enjoy non-stop live music, arts and crafts, food vendors, fireworks, carnival rides and entertainment for children.
Here's everything you need to know to enjoy this annual rite of spring that celebrates one of the first flowers to burst into bloom in Connecticut each year.
Meriden Daffodil Festival Basics
Daffodil Festival Dates: Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, 2019
Times: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Admission and parking are both free.
Pre-Festival Fun in Meriden
On April 20, 2019—the Saturday before the Meriden Daffodil Festival—there's a good chance there'll already be plenty of daffodils to see in Hubbard Park. And that's not all. The 1,800-acre park plays host to Connecticut's Largest Tag Sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. that day. It's held under a tent, rain or shine. There are also amusement rides for the kids and the young at heart and refreshments available for sale on-site. Spaces are $30, and proceeds benefit the Daffodil Festival. Another charitable event, the 20th annual Meriden Rotary 5K Road Race and Kids Fun Run takes place in Hubbard Park, too, on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
What To See and Do During the Meriden Daffodil Festival
Highlights of the festivities during the weekend of the festival include a parade at 11:30 a.m. and fireworks at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and continuous musical entertainment on three stages both days. The 2019 line-up of artists and bands scheduled to perform includes '70s light country-rock band Poco and local favorites like River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs, Shaded Soul and Pat Stone and the Dirty Boots.
For kids, there's stage entertainment at Theater of the Trees and much more. And a juried craft fair runs both days of the festival.
Visit the Meriden Daffodil Festival website for the complete 2019 schedule of events.
Directions to the Meriden Daffodil Festival and Where to Stay
Getting There: Follow Route 91 North or South to Route 691 West to exit 7, then bear left onto State Street. GPS users should use 298 State Street, Meriden, CT, as their destination.
Parking: As you exit onto State Street, watch for signs directing you to free parking with shuttle bus transportation to the festival. Parking is located at Platt High School (220 Coe Avenue), Lincoln Middle School (164 Centennial Avenue), HC Wilcox Technical High School (298 Oregon Road) and at Meriden Station Garage (24 Colony Street), as well as at the Westfield Shopping Mall (470 Lewis Avenue on the second and third levels of the garage near Boscov’s). Shuttle buses will transport visitors to and from Hubbard Park from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday (and will return visitors to their cars after the fireworks) and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Individuals with valid handicapped parking stickers may park in the designated handicapped parking lot at Westfield Shopping Mall (470 Lewis Avenue) and will be transported to the park via handicap-access vans.
Lodging: If you are traveling to the Daffodil Festival, you will find that Meriden is home to a large variety of chain hotels that are convenient to Hubbard Park including a Comfort Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express & Suites and the very budget-friendly Red Roof Inn. Unfortunately, the city lacks more charming B&B properties.
For Additional Information about the Meriden Daffodil Festival: Call the festival hotline at 203-238-1315 (April 1 through May 1).
While You Are in Meriden
Making a weekend of attending the Daffodil Festival? You'll want to add these Meriden musts to your itinerary:
- Make the 3-mile hike or drive up a steep road to Castle Craig. You'll have views of the city and surrounding towns in the Quinnipiac River Valley from this high point in the Hanging Hills. If the stone tower's stairs are open and skies are clear, you may be able to see as far south as Long Island Sound.
- Head to Ted's Restaurant for a legendary, juicy steamed cheeseburger. Steaming burgers is a Connecticut thing, and this family-owned restaurant has been luring beef lovers since 1959.