The Origin of the Daffodil Festival

Valiree Vining, Editor

2021 Gloucester High School Graduate


March 31, 2022

Spring is officially in the air. With Spring, comes the well known Daffodil festival from April 2nd to April 3rd.
With it being as famous as it is, it raises the question of how this festival came to be.


The Daffodil festival has been around since 1926 solely to celebrate the community and heritage of Gloucester, Virginia. However, the history of this wonderful celebration spans further back than 1926.


In 1651, Gloucester county officially became a county, branching off of York county. The daffodil began to grow all around the town soon after, giving the county a wonderful splash of color.


The date April 6th, 1926 marks the very first Daffodil festival. It began as a garden party thrown by Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Orton to show off their wonderful display of colorful daffodils. It was rather informal, but it sparked the wonderful idea that flourished. Considering the daffodil became so prominent after Gloucester county was formed, it was named the “Daffodil Capital of America” between the 1930s and 40s.


After World War II, there was a decline in growth because of the aftermath. There was a frenzy of an over-population which led to the eventual decline of daffodils. They may not be as prominent as they once were, but all over Gloucester, you can see little blooms of the beautiful daffodils.


The modern day Daffodil festival has much to offer that makes it a wonderful day trip to experience. There are parades, children’s events, a Daffodil queen, vendors, and much more.


The Daffodil festival is a wonderful host for the charm of the county, and it gives back just as much. The lucky woman from the age of 16 to 19 that is eligible to compete for Daffodil Queen, gains a $1,000 scholarship after completing their duties.
So, if given the chance, go down and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the Daffodil festival from April 2nd to 3rd.