Special to The Times


Nantucket ushers in the springtime

Planners are hoping that more than 3 million daffodils will be in bloom April 25 to 27 for Nantucket's 37th annual Daffodil Festival, which is a flower fest and a celebration of winter's thaw.

The big event is the Antique Car Parade, featuring more than 100 daffodil-bedecked cars, followed by a tailgate picnic on the lawns leading into the village of Siasconset. Merchants hold a daffodil window box contest, the garden club shows prize daffodils and visitors can tour some of the island's historic inns. Lodging reservations are recommended.

For more information, contact the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, 48 Main St., Nantucket, MA 02554; (508) 228-1700,


Hats off to the

Easter Parade

It's the hats. Serious hats and wild and crazy hats will be the center of attraction at New York City's famous Easter Parade. No floats. No brass bands. Just spring finery. The parade begins at 10 a.m. April 20 at Fifth Avenue and 49th Street with strollers heading up Fifth, past St. Patrick's Cathedral to 57th Street.

For more information, contact New York City Parks and Recreation, Special Events, 16 W. 61st St., New York, NY 10023; (212) 408-0100,


Everyone chips in for a good time

Yes, Virginia, there is a National Cow Chip-Throwing Championship Contest, and it's April 19 in Beaver (population 1,600). Men, women, teams and VIPs will see how far they can fling cow dung during this, the 34th annual event.

Rounding out the festivities: a chili cook-off, gospel sing, carnival, rodeo and parade.

For more information, contact the Beaver Chamber of Commerce, 33 W. 2nd St., Beaver, OK 73932; (580) 625-4726,


San Antonio celebrates its roots

The 112th Annual Fiesta San Antonio from April 19 to 27 will include more than 150 events that celebrate the city's diverse roots as well as pay respect to the memory of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

There will be six stages with live entertainment, three parades, and tours of the King William historic Victorian neighborhood.

For more information, contact the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, 2611 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78215; (210) 227-5191,


How sweet it is

at the maple fest

The 37th Vermont Maple Festival from April 25 to 27 in St. Albans promises all things maple: sugarhouse tours, maple exhibit, maple store, pancake breakfast, all sorts of mapley food items and a few old-fashioned events to pull it all together. The northwest Vermont town plans a parade, antique show and sale, street entertainers and a fiddlers' contest.

For more information, contact the St. Albans Area Chamber of Commerce, 2 N. Main St., St. Albans, VT 05478; (802) 524-2444,


Some history,

some horticulture

During Historic Garden Week, April 19 to 27, more than 250 private homes, gardens and historic landmarks, spanning four centuries, will be open on 36 tours across the state.

This year's highlights include houses and gardens in Fredericksburg associated with the mother and extended family of George Washington; Jefferson's Pavilion gardens at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville; and master gardener demonstrations, concerts and a reenactment of Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech in Richmond.

For more information, contact the Garden Club of Virginia, 12 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219; (804) 644-7776,


Seeing Paris

on the run

Visitors will find plenty of familiar viewing spots for watching the 27th annual Paris Marathon on April 6. It begins at the bottom of Avenue Foch and makes its way through the city along the Seine and past the Bastille and Tuileries.

Last year more than 28,000 runners stepped off. Even more participants are expected April 5 for the 5.2-kilometer run.

For more information, contact the French Government Tourist Office, 9454 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 210, Beverly Hills, CA 90212-2967; (310) 271-6665,

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