La Conner Daffodil Festival
Did you know there are more daffodils than tulips in Skagit Valley? The Roozengaarde fields alone feature 450 acres of daffodils and 350 acres of tulips. These yellow beauties are a sight to see against a backdrop of deep green-blue rolling hills. In celebration of the flower, equally stunning but less famous than its later-blooming cousin, the tulip, La Conner hosts a Daffodil Festival to welcome the year’s first blooms, allowing visitors to enjoy the sights and partake in daffodil-centric activities.
The festival was scheduled to kick off in late February with the 52nd Annual Smelt Derby. Held by the Rotary Club, it’s a day full of activities for both adults and children with a long history. Locals refer to the event as “almost” annual since in the 1950s it may have gotten a bit too rowdy, prompting the police chief to resign on the spot. The mayor at the time, Mayor Fred Martin, shut down the festival and refused to hold it the following year. It’s been back in full swing every since, and if you missed it, make sure to mark your calendars for next year.
This year, the first daffodil blooms are expected in March. You can check out the official Daffodil Bloom map, updated daily, to see which fields are blossoming. Avid photographers should try venturing out in early morning to catch the sunrise over the fields and beat the crowds. Then submit your photos to the La Conner Daffodil Festival 2017 Photo Contest. Simply upload your photos via Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #laconnerdaffodils. The committee will choose their top 10 photos and let the public vote for the winner. In addition to a cash prize, the winner’s photo will be used as the official photo for the 2018 La Conner Daffodil Festival. Check out some of the previous winners’ work on the La Conner website. It’s breathtaking.
Finally, if you’re a cyclist who enjoys the simpler days of yesteryear, sign up for The Dandy Daffodil Tweed Ride. Dress up in tweed and brushed leather riding garb. Or not. Either way, you’ll embark on a leisurely bicycle ride with others alongside brilliant daffodil fields, stopping for an afternoon picnic complete with scones and croquet. The event kicks off on Friday, March 17 with early check-in at 3 p.m. and a glass of wine. The actual ride (not a race) is on Saturday, March 18 at 10 a.m. The route is completely flat and the vibe is relaxed, with the focus on enjoying scenery and company.
If you choose to attend all the Daffodil Festival events or just take a few pictures on your own, consider stopping by La Conner for a meal and to purchase bulbs for your garden. The La Conner Visitor’s Center can point you in the right direction.
La Conner Visitor’s Center
413 Morris St., La Conner
360.466.4778 | lovelaconner.com