Daffy for Dogs on Nantucket

a guest blog post by Ema Hudson •


It’s almost that time again on Nantucket – our annual Daffodil Weekend!  Spring is all around us and those cheerful yellow daffodils give us reason for hope. Our off island friends come back to celebrate the kick off of the season with us, with picnics and parties all around.

Nantucket Daffodil Festival Dog Parade

Mason at the Nantucket Daffodil Festival Dog Parade

Registration will be at the corner of Federal and Main Streets from 10 am – 12 pm, with the parade beginning at approximately 12:30 pm in front of Ralph Lauren.  This year we are proud to partner with Ralph Lauren Nantucket to bring you the best parade yet. If you venture into their shop, you’ll see framed photos of our adoptable pets on display!  There will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize awarded to the best dressed dogs.  The winners will also be listed by the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce in all official print material.  There is a suggested donation of $5 to register, all proceeds benefiting Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals.


Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals is a non-profit, mostly volunteer run animal shelter founded in 2011.  We take in and care for Nantucket’s stray and surrendered pets and willnever turn away an animal in need. All incoming animals receive sterilization, vaccines and microchip before going on to new homes. To date we have placed over 100 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds.


NSHA is also the town’s contracted stray dog shelter. All lost dogs brought in by Nantucket’s Animal Control Officer or citizens are cared for and safe until their owners can be located. Beyond animal care and re-homing, we offer behavior counseling, animal care training, and financial assistance information to island pet owners. If you are interested in volunteering or supporting our shelter, please check out our website at www.nantucketsafeharborforanimals.org  or email us at nantucketsha@gmail.com

Daffy Dressing

One of our favorite things about the celebration of Spring on Nantucket that is the Nantucket Dafffodil Festival is the way that so many of the festival-goers dress up for the party.  Parents dress up their little ones in white and yellow, in flowers real and artistic.

The fun includes all ages and all genders — it’s as common to see men wearing elaborate Daffy Fest hats as it to see women wearing them.

Costume central during Daffy is Children’s Beach, where the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce (the masterminds behind and organizers of this weekend of fun) host the Children’s Parade and the Daffy Hat Pagent.  Participants start to gather as early as 10 am for the 10:30 am parade and the 10:45 am pageant.  Then everyone heads to Main Street for the Antique Car Parade.  Check our Calendar of Events for specifics about all the weekend events, and we’ll see you at Daffy Fest this weekend, April 27 and 28!

It All Starts with Daffy

We’ve been enjoying the daffodils on Nantucket for weeks now, but tomorrow begins the weekend when we share them with thousands of visitors to our island.

Daffodil Festival Weekend is one of my favorite island events.  It’s one that island residents still attend, and in numbers equaling (if not exceeding) the visitors.  It’s an event that still belongs to us—and it’s so very tongue-in-cheek!  Participants dress up for the day.  You’re as likely to see women wearing extravagent hats as you are a group of young girls decked out like “daffy” ducks.

The antique car parade draws some impressive vehicles that have been housed in climate-controlled garages all winter, but it also includes some pretty funky old cars that the kid out in Tom Nevers has been working on for months to get it running.  All will be adorned in daffodils (real, plastic, and paper), ribbons and bows, and several will be transformed something completely different with drivers and passengers outfitted to match.

And the tailgate picnics…where else can you see people staging a picnic, complete with a musical score?

Nantucket’s Daffodil Festival is the start of The Season, but it’s still fun for us working stiffs who, come August, cannot wait till October.