SARANAC LAKE — Village gardens are coming up daffodils. And that means Daffest is on the way.

In an announcement launching new events and declaring the lineup over the next two weekends, organizer Cherrie Sayles said the chilly air hasn’t stopped the daffodils from blooming.

“It’s that time again, although it doesn’t feel like it, but the daffs are peeking out all over town,” she said.

Saranac Lake appears to be well on its way toward the goal of putting more than a million daffodils in public and private gardens and yards throughout the village.

“I think every civic group, business and household in the Saranac Lake School District and beyond is involved this year, with people now jumping in from Tupper Lake, Lake Placid and all points north, east, south and west,” Sayles said.

“Daffest has taken on a life of its own, and we all love watching our child bloom.”


Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau said the festival has become a true celebration of spring in the northern regions.

“This grows and blooms with each passing year. It’s early spring activity,” he said.

“Daffest brings the community together, breaks cabin fever and prepares us for the summer.”


Daffest kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday with a reception and welcome dinner at Blue Moon Restaurant on Main Street.

The schedule this year blends the Try Mine Pastry Contest with the pre-derby festivities at the Town Hall on Friday evening.

And a pie-eating contest has been added into the post-race fun, with entry sign-up online.

The entry fee is $100 per contestant; as of Wednesday, 10 businesses had sponsored a pie-eater each for the contest at DJ’s Rustic Restaurant.

“One pie, no hands, fastest one finished wins!” Sayles said in an email.

The competition is open to ages 18 and older; first prize is $500.

Daffest includes some new wine- and food-tasting events along with the popular slate of historic tours throughout the next two weekends.

The Daffest Derby sets off on Saturday with hand-made soapbox derby cars lined up.

“Some points of interest, Blue Line Brewery is brewing a decadent Derby Rootbeer for us for Rootbeer Floats,” Sayles said.

“There are also several more soapbox derby cars being built for the Daffest Derby. As always, our fine village bakers will be generously donating their fine creations to sample on the eve of the race at the Try Mine Pastry Contest and Daffest Derby reception. I would like to invite all of you to attend and have fun.”

Find a complete schedule of events at


People wishing to purchase warrants for the Daffest lockup on the second weekend can find forms on the website. 

Daffest warrants for Jail and Bail come with 50 daffodil bulbs to plant for next year’s event. The money raised from the event will be used to support next year’s Daffest.

This is the third-annual Daffest celebration, straddling the next two “bloomin’” weekends.

Email Kim Smith Dedam:

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