Members of the Lawn Chair Ladies perform an opening number for the Daffest Derby last year.
The annual celebration of daffodils is once again ready to take place in Saranac Lake.
Daffest will kick off this weekend, highlighted by the annual Daffest Derby, a competition of soapbox derby cars that runs on the LaPan Highway hill from the site of the overpass to the Harrietstown Town Hall.
The derby will take place Saturday, April 27, with racing starting promptly at 11 a.m. There will be four age classes that will take their turns running down the hill in a race against the opponent and the clock.
The event will kick off with a performance by the Lawn Chair Ladies at 10:45 a.m., while there will be a bake sale sponsored by the Petrova Parents Club at the event from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
For regulations and entry, go to daffest.com or contact Bob Bevilacqua at Car Cuzzi Care Center, 891-8109.
Events start Friday, April 26, with a walking tour led by Amy Catania, director of Historic Saranac Lake, at 1 p.m., starting at Riverside Park. The kickoff for Daffest will take place at Blue Moon at 4 p.m., followed by a wine tasting at Saranac Lake Discount Liquor at 5:30 p.m.
The night will conclude with the Try Mine Pastry Contest at the Harrietstown Hall from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Judging for the best local pastry will be done by those in attendance as well as a panel of judges.
At the same times, there will be a Daffest Derby reception and soapbox car equipment check at the site.
On Saturday, the corner of Main and River Street will be abuzz with several events from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., including fair food for sale, fishing clinic, baking demos, wagon rides, face painting, music by the Lemon Drops from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and a pie eating contest from noon until 3 p.m. The Nonna Fina Wine Tasting will take place from 2 until 6 p.m., while there will be a roast pork dinner from 4 until 8 p.m. at the Adult Center. At 7:30 p.m., the North Country Jazz Ensemble will play at Will Rogers, while the Downhill Grill will host performers Steve Langdon and Tall County (formerly Frankenpine) at 9 p.m.
On Sunday, April 28, there will be a large garden basket weaving contest at the Willy Nilly on River Street from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Events continue the following weekend with a Wigmore Garden tour Thursday, May 2, starting at 1 p.m. The tour is limited to 30 visitors, who are asked to sign up through the Daffest website. The Downhill Grill will also be hosting LeGroove at 7 p.m. for Jazz in Bloom.
On Friday, May 3, the Jail and Bail for Bulbs fundraiser will take place from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Organized by Janie’s for Hair, people who are “arrested” can be bailed out of jail for a $25 donation which will help buy 50 daffodil bulbs. More information can be obtained by calling Janie at 637-4990 or LeeAnn at 586-1573. There will also be a slide show of the French Gardens at the Left Bank Cafe, which will also host the Dust Bunnies from 7 to 9 p.m.
The Saranac Lake Chamber’s 5-K Zoom in Bloom race will take place Saturday, May 4, with registration and check in from 8 until 8 :45 a.m. at the Adirondack Carousel. The race will begin at 9 a.m. with a registration fee of $20 that includes a race T-shirt.
The race will be followed by a brunch from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Nonna Fina, while there will be a tour of the Pine Ridge Cemetery with Bob Seidenstein at 11 a.m. There will also be an Ampersand Bay Resort tour at 1 p.m., along with a Mark Twain Maple Works tour at 2:30 p.m.
At 4 p.m., the Daffest Derby Hat contest will be held at Captain Cook’s at 4 p.m., which will judge the best hats at the event and offer a viewing party of the annual Kentucky Derby horse race.
The festival concludes Sunday, May 5, with the Adirondack Singers Spring concert at St. Bernard’s Church at 2 p.m.
For more information on the Daffest, to find a calendar of events or to register for tours and races, visit the website daffest.com.