MERIDEN — The big tent for the Daffodil Festival will go up earlier this year.
Festival Committee Chairman Mark Zebora said the company providing the tent, Newport Tent Co., will set it up in Hubbard Park Friday earlier than initially scheduled because the business is also involved with setting up for the upcoming Boston Marathon.
“The big tent goes up (today),” Zebora said. “We’re doing very well.”
Parks and Recreation Director Chris Bourdon said having the tent up earlier will be good publicity for the 41st annual festival and the pre-festival events.
New festival entertainment this year includes an exhibition of mountain bike stunts and a contortionist. For children and families, there will be an animal adventure show. Guests can visit the animals between shows.
Pre-festival events include the Daffodil Tag Sale on April 20 and the Meriden Rotary Daffodil 5k walk and road race this Sunday. Zebora expects more than 200 participants in the race.
The road race and tag sale, typically held the Sunday before the Daffodil Festival, were rescheduled to avoid conflicts with Easter Sunday.
The Daffodil Festival is April 27 and 28.
Bourdon said the Rotary 5k walk and run is unique.
“It’s a real scenic 3.1-mile course,” Bourdon said. “It’s great to get out and exercise and see everything out in bloom.”
The Recreation Department is sprucing up the park, dressing flower beds and assisting the festival committee with set up. Despite the inconsistent weather, the daffodils should continue to bloom in time for the festival.
“I was looking at the daffodils today,” Bourdon said. “I think quality-wise, these will be the best. They look really good this year.”