Picnic ‘Sconset Village
By Deborah Anderson
Spring has sprung! Nantucket sure does know how to throw a party . . . and this is the first of many throughout the year. It starts with Daffodil Festival – and ends with Christmas Stroll. The Nantucket Garden Club decorates all the lamp posts in town with yellow ribbons. They plant the water fountain at the base of Main Street, with daffodils, pansies, and forsythia! The shop owners follow suit and plant their window boxes with every possible variety and color of spring flowers. They decorate their shop windows with an original theme or just products that follow the color theme of the weekend. The Chamber of Commerce judges the windows and ribbons are awarded on Friday.
Up to 100 antique cars line up on Main Street for viewing they too are judged and ribbons are awarded. Once that is done, they then travel seven miles out the Milestone Road to the quaint fishing village of Siasconset, where they park along the right-hand side of the road on the grass shoulder. Tables are set up for the most elegant to casual of picnics and judging is yet again done by the Chamber of Commerce for the picnics and ribbons are awarded! Dogs, children, townspeople and visitors alike, mingle along the entire length of “in-town” Main Street, Siasconset. Everyone is happy – the spirit of the day is contagious and spreads easily throughout the crowd.
Dress is, of course, primarily yellow and green. Be sure to watch for the most creative and outrageous of hats, loaded with daffodils. Dogs sport daffodil collars and leashes festooned with the same and children’s carriages, wagons and scooters are all “dressed-up” too! Not a care in the world is the mantra to the afternoon of festivities.
Food and drink follow the same yellow and green theme! Egg salad and curried chicken salad sandwiches abound. Desserts follow the same theme, with lemon curd tartlets, lemon cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, pistachio and lemon macaroons, brownies frosted with green mint frosting, cupcakes sport yellow and green frosting and lemonade and limeade beverages are served. If it’s not yellow or green, don’t serve it! Most of the picnickers will make extra food for those passing by, but be sure to ask if the party is private or for all to enjoy!
On the left side of the street, those who have not driven an antique car in the parade can set up their own picnic table or lay down a blanket. Many people on this side of the road claim their spot early in the morning. They are more determined than a Bostonian claiming their parking space after shoveling it out from a winter snow storm! So, be sure not to “step on anyone’s feet” when claiming your spot.
The weekend is such a happy one and a better way to welcome spring to town cannot be found.