Meriden’s Daffodil Festival returns with gorgeous spring weather, good crowd

MERIDEN — The Daffodil Festival kicked off Saturday with mild, sunny weather and a good-sized crowd eager to watch the festival parade and sample the food offerings, entertainment and other activities.

By the time the parade started at 11:30 a.m., the crowd was in position to get the best views as marchers and floats looped around Hubbard Park.

Nilda Rivera-Carrero of Southington was at the festival for the first time. After the pandemic, it felt good to attend an outdoor event in person, she said.

“It’s nice to see something happening in real world time,” Rivera-Carrero said. “It’s nice to have the kids be able to do stuff and experience the world.”

The parade featured the marching bands from Maloney and Platt high schools and Lincoln Middle School. Beat the Street community center, the Meriden YMCA, Yalesville Fife and Drum Corps and many other community groups also participated.

Deborah Buell marched with the Yalesville Fife and Drum Corps. She said it was great to be back.

“It’s one of our favorite parades,” Buell said. “It’s very well organized, nice crowd.”

This year’s parade grand marshal was U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, a city resident.

“It felt great being home and seeing the community coming together again,” Cardona said. “It’s been a long time and the Daffodil parade and the Daffodil Festival is a great way for our community to come together and enjoy each other’s company.”

Before and after the parade, attendees stopped at the Midstate Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Community Expo and bought food sold by community groups under the massive festival tent.   

Joy Battista, vice chair of the Democratic Town Committee, said they have been selling food, including ice cream, at the festival for years, so it was good to be back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.   

“It’s so awesome, I love it, I love seeing everybody and just being able to do this again,” Battista said. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for so long, so we’re really excited to see everybody and enjoy the festival again.” 

Festival volunteers were also happy. 

“It’s fantastic to be back and to be out with the community again,” said volunteer Amy Murdzek.  City residents were also pleased with the festival and the delightful spring weather. 

“It’s been years since I’ve been here, so it’s nice to see everyone just out here enjoying the weather, enjoying the food tents and all of those vendors,” Meriden resident Jeannette Kulas said.  

Reporter Jessica Simms can be reached at


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