An estimated 27,000 attend Daffodil Festival

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Apr 10, 2019 - 02:40 PM

Photo: The Gloucester Daffodil Festival Queen and Princesses and Little Miss Daffodil and contestants ride on a special float during Saturday morning’s parade. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

The Gloucester Daffodil Festival Queen and Princesses and Little Miss Daffodil and contestants ride on a special float during Saturday morning’s parade. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Photo: Chelsea Shield, left, and Kylie Hamersly of Gloucester show off their Daffodil spirit during this weekend’s festival. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Chelsea Shield, left, and Kylie Hamersly of Gloucester show off their Daffodil spirit during this weekend’s festival. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Photo: A large crowd fills Gloucester’s Main Street Saturday morning as thousands of people leave the streets after watching the parade and head toward the center of the Daffodil Festival. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

A large crowd fills Gloucester’s Main Street Saturday morning as thousands of people leave the streets after watching the parade and head toward the center of the Daffodil Festival. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

An estimated 27,000+ people flocked to Gloucester Court House over the weekend to enjoy this year’s 33rd annual Gloucester Daffodil Festival, according to Katey Legg, director of Gloucester’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, which helps put on the festival each year.

“The weekend was filled with sunshine and warm temperatures making it perfect for festival guests,” Legg said. “Saturday may have started foggy and chilly, but as the day went on, the sun came out and the crowd was there until after 5 p.m.

“Festival-goers enjoyed the sounds of The Mullins Sisters, Drum Corp United, the Dempsey Sisters and James Redmond on the Main Stage,” she said, adding that festival-goers also enjoyed the Mutt Show and the nearly 200 vendors scattered around the festival grounds.

This year, a new hit was the addition of the ArtMobile, a 90-foot traveling art exhibit from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which was supported by the Cook Foundation. “Over 2,500 people entered the ArtMobile over the weekend and were able to view art work from VMFA’s fellowship recipients,” Legg said.

Adjacent to the ArtMobile was the Middle Peninsula Classic Cruisers Car Show, with over 20 classic cars for the public to enjoy. The winner of the car show was Paul James of Mathews with his 1956 Ford Fairlane. 

Legg said this year’s parade, which signifies the official start of the festival, did not disappoint this year. “Local businesses, civic groups, our schools and churches did a great job of portraying this year’s festival theme, ‘Along the Water’s Edge.’” She said American Legion Post 75, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 75, American Legion Riders 75, and Sons of the American Legion won Best in Parade. 

Other parade winners include, in the Our Animals category, Hooves, Paws and Claws (1st place) and Gloucester Kennel Club (2nd place); By Land or Sea, Swords Marine Service (1st place), Hatton Cross Steampunk (2nd place) and Tidewater Shrine Club (3rd place); Our Businesses, Anytime Fitness (1st place), Riverside Health System (2nd place) and Riverside Sanders Retirement (3rd place); Our Community, American Legion Post 75 (1st place), Literacy Volunteers of Gloucester (2nd place) and DAV #58 (3rd place); Our Schools, GHS Agriculture and Art departments (1st place) and Classical Conversations (2nd place); Musical Marching Unit, Drum Corps United (1st place) and The Fifes & Drums of York Town (2nd place); Our Youth, Bayside Youth Ballet (1st place), American Heritage Girls (2nd place) and Girl Scouts Service Unit 130 of Gloucester and Mathews (3rd place); Our Churches, Bellamy United Methodist (1st place) and BridgePoint (2nd place).

Vendor awards are as follows: Original Handcrafts, Cathy’s Custom Crafts (Best in Show), Mobjack Creations (2nd place) and Jewelry Designs by Jim and Linda Hamilton (3rd place); Fine Arts, Glass by Basha (Best in Show), River Swirl Creations (2nd place) and Coastal Creations (3rd place); the Queen’s Choice Award went to the Gloucester Men’s Ministry. 

During opening ceremonies Saturday morning, Billy Moore was officially recognized as the 2019 Grand Marshal; Donald Calder received the Daffodil Festival Scholarship and 2019 Daffodil Festival Queen Jessica Herman was crowned. On Sunday, the 2019 Little Miss Daffodil, Penelope Jane Polonsky, was crowned. 

“The Daffodil Festival is an amazing testimony to community and partnerships,” Legg said. “From local business sponsorships, to volunteer groups, everything happens because of these partners.”

As an example, she said volunteers from Gloucester VFW Post 8252, led by Don Tellock and Ronnie Best Jr., helped ensure that the parade lineup was efficient and went off without a hitch. Meanwhile, many individuals and groups such as Literacy Volunteers of Gloucester and the Gloucester Men’s Ministry took on a heavy share of work to help make the festival a huge success.

“A special thanks to CERT for traffic control; the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office and road crew; Gloucester County Public Schools Transportation and administration and various county departments for the support provided,” Legg added.