With more than 600,000 sunny daffodils in bloom, the annual Meriden Daffodil Festival in Hubbard Park, Meriden, can certainly be called Connecticut's most colorful free spring event. One of many spring flower events that draw visitors to New England, it's well worth the trip to this central Connecticut town for this seasonal rite celebrating one of the first flowers to burst into bloom in the state each year.
The festival will celebrate its 42nd year on April 25–26, 2020, and in addition to fragrant fields of more than 60 varieties of the yellow flower, you can enjoy live music, arts and crafts, a parade, food vendors, fireworks, carnival rides, and entertainment for children. On Saturday, the event goes from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday's activities last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pre-Festival Fun in Meriden
On April 18, 2020—the Saturday before the Meriden Daffodil Festival—there's a good chance there will already be plenty of daffodils to see in Hubbard Park.
And 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 are available for sale on-site. Spaces are $30, and proceeds benefit the Daffodil Festival.
Another charitable event, the 21st annual Meriden Rotary 5K Road Race and Kids' Fun Run, takes place in Hubbard Park on Sunday, April 19, 2020.
What to See During the Meriden Daffodil Festival
Highlights during the weekend of the festival include a parade at 11:30 a.m. and fireworks (check the event website for the exact time) on Saturday. There will also be continuous musical entertainment on three stages both days. The 2020 line-up of artists scheduled to perform include guitar and blues-rock group Jake Kulak and the Lowdown and New England bands like Mariachi Colonial, Tiny Ocean, Jason Ingriselli, and others.
For kids, there are carnival rides, a Little Miss Daffodil contest for girls from kindergarten through age 5, and much more. A juried craft fair runs both days of the festival.
Check out the complete schedule of events or call the festival hotline from April 1 through May 1, 2020, at 203-238-1315.
Parking and Shuttle Details
During the festival, Hubbard Park is not available for parking, but as you exit onto State Street, watch for signs directing you to four free parking lots and shuttle bus transportation to the festival.
Shuttle buses will transport visitors to and from Hubbard Park from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Parking is located at Platt High School (220 Coe Ave.), Lincoln Middle School (164 Centennial Ave.), HC Wilcox Technical High School (298 Oregon Rd.), and the Westfield Shopping Mall (470 Lewis Ave. on the second and third levels of the garage, near Boscov’s).
Individuals with valid disability placards may use the designated lot at Westfield Shopping Mall (the Chamberlain Highway entrance) from where they will be transported to the park in accessible vans.
Where to Stay
Visitors traveling to the Daffodil Festival will find that Meriden is home to a variety of chain hotels that are convenient to Hubbard Park, including a Comfort Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and the budget-friendly Red Roof Inn.
While You Are in Meriden
If you are making a weekend of attending the Daffodil Festival, add these Meriden musts to your itinerary:
- Hike to Castle Craig Tower on top of East Peak at 1,002 feet (305 meters) above sea level. 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. Confirm road and trail opening and closing dates and times with the park before going.
- 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.