Newport Daffodil Days Festival

Newport, RI – Yes, it’s finally a DAFFO-DILLION.

At 10:30 am on Monday, November 19, Newport’s one millionth daffodil bulb will be planted on the front lawn of City Hall in Newport, RI.

Newport’s daffodil program had its start twelve years ago when Tree Warden Scott Wheeler originated what was called Newport’s Parks in Bloom program, created to beautify Newport with spring-flowering bulbs in all city parks.

Prophetically, Scott said at the time, “the goal seems a little imposing, but if every year for the next twenty years we plant, we can get there.”

With Scott’s inspiration, the hard work of his crew and hundreds of local volunteers, along with financial support from Mr. Ronald Lee Fleming and others, Parks in Bloom morphed into the annual Daffodil Project. In 15 years, the initial planting of 3,300 grew to 180,000 daffodils.

But for Scott and philanthropist Fleming, that wasn’t enough. They wanted to up the ante, setting a wildly ambitious, rather “daffy” goal of one million – a Daffodillion, if you will. So “Daffodillion” sprouted forth, and over the next five years, the 180,000 quickly grew to 867,500 daffodils.

Now in its sixth year, Daffodillion has planted another 132,498 bulbs so far this fall, bringing the total to 999,998 bulbs as of today.

The one million daffodils have a value of over $600,000 – “a gift to the street,” as Mr. Fleming puts it.

To celebrate Newport’s “Daffodillion,” Mr. Fleming will plant the 999,999 bulb, Mayor Harry Winthrop will plant the one millionth and a student from Thompson Middle School will plant the one millionth and one flower, representing the future of a beautiful Newport.

Immediately afterward, the public is invited to join in a celebratory reception in the Council Chambers to honor the occasion.

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