COLUMN: Plenty of outdoor activities in Meriden this spring and summer

COLUMN: Plenty of outdoor activities in Meriden this spring and summer

It’s said that “Hope springs eternal,” but spring seems a distant hope at this point. 

It certainly seems to me that we’ve had an unusually long siege of winter and a cold spring. While Mother Nature has occasionally teased us with a warm day or two here and there, these days have been few and far between (and we’ve even had several April snows).  

I, like many of you, am ready for some warm breezes, green grass, and blossoming flowers.

So I suppose we can expect that eventually spring will arrive and deliver pleasant conditions but, in the meantime, we can look ahead to what’s being planned for upcoming fun, exciting events and activities that can be enjoyed in Meriden.  

We have a lot to look forward to.

First up is the 40th Annual Meriden Daffodil Festival held at Hubbard Park stretching through the week into next weekend (April 21-29).

Once again Mark Zebora, the director of this festival (along with the volunteer Daffodil Committee of over 40 volunteers) will put on quite a show. This is Meriden’s signature event and attendees will view a gorgeous sea of over 600,000 daffodils as they enjoy the Little Miss Daffodil contest, parade, food, amusements, music, crafts show, and good family fun.

This is a must-attend event and promises to be one of the best ever. I will be there selling our award-winning fried dough for the Meriden Kiwanis Club. Come see us.

Following on May 12, is the annual Meriden-Markham Fly-in featuring many makes and models of aircraft on display, music, food, bouncy houses, helicopter rides, and vendor booths.

Visitors can also witness takeoffs and landings during the day. This is a fun day for the whole family. (And at the end of the month, on Memorial Day, May 28, is the Memorial Day Parade and 5K Race.)

Kicking off June is the Annual Lions Club Duck Race on Sunday June 3 at the Meriden Green. Thousands of yellow rubber ducks will navigate the 650 feet of Harbor Brook to the delight of youngsters and parents following along as the ducks bobble their way towards the finish line. (I already have my ducks registered and am hoping for a winner.) 

The popular Summer Twilight Music Series kicks off on Friday, June 15 (with 8 concerts on Friday nights and 3 on Saturday evenings) at the Green Amphitheater — featuring the band # 9, a Beatles Tribute Band. Last year, this band attracted the largest attendance of the season.

Music series organizer Steve Robichaud is back in town helping to organize and fundraise for this popular summer attraction (held on consecutive weekend nights throughout the summer). Steve said, “I am pleased to bring the summer music series back to the Meriden Green again. It has evolved into a full summer concerts series.”  And it’s free.

Another event at the Meriden Green starting on Saturday, June 23 is the second Annual Pop-up Market, one of three scheduled pop-up markets this summer, organized by Carrie Teele and Dave Grodzicki. They have assembled a large number of vendors, music presentations, and food trucks for a very enjoyable family experience. 

Also, on June 23, the Meriden Police Department presents its Annual Car Show with a massive display of cars, jeeps, bikes and trucks, children’s activities, radio stations, and food trucks on Research Parkway.

Meriden police officer Freddie Rivera is helping to organize this event to celebrate the Meriden Police Department’s 150th Anniversary.

Said Rivera: “This is a fun family day with new and old cars and jeeps, many coming from other states to participate in our 150th Anniversary.”  Rivera expects a big crowd to attend.  

Finally, looking ahead to July, the Meriden Farmers Market opens its season July 7 on the Meriden Green.

The market runs on Saturday mornings on the Pratt Street side of the green for 16 consecutive Saturdays, 8:30 AM to noon. This year a new feature will be the “Double Dollars Program” for low-income families that will double their purchasing power at the market.

The market is known for locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables. Each week there is live music by “Concerts for Causes,” multiple vendors selling fresh bread, jewelry, flowers and other products. The market will also be the site for the Summer Free Lunch Program.

Any child under 18 is eligible for a free, nutritious lunch provided by the Meriden Board of Education food nutrition program. Three theme days are scheduled during the season that will feature amusements, games, DJ, and face-painting for children.  

So, come on, spring and summer!

We look forward to many outdoors adventures right here in Meriden once warm weather arrives. It will be great to get outdoors again.

Michael S. Rohde is a former mayor and city councilor of Meriden.




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