Just breathe… It’s springtime in Annapolis. Walk the charming streets and feel the surge of spring energy. Catch a whiff of salt air off the harbor, hear the call of the osprey just home from the south, see the tree buds pushing through the limb tips overhead. This is April in Annapolis—this mystifying mix of warm and cool, wind and calm, sun and clouds.

May Day

April keeps us wondering—but somehow we just know. We know that May is coming, with its stunning flowers, its snapping sails, its snug sidewalk tables, its doors flung open to the outdoors. Spring is here at last, and all is good.

Annapolis is bursting with pent up energy as we prepare for the first day of May. May Day here is celebrated with the display of hundreds of May Baskets of gorgeous fresh flowers hanging everywhere on doors, porches, and gates. If beholding beauty is your thing, then don’t miss seeing this inspired event.

The May Day Basket Tradition

May Day

May Day – referred to as the most beautiful day in Annapolis – falls almost midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, and cultures across millennia have celebrated this time of renewal with ancient customs. Placing May Baskets of flowers in front of our homes and shops is a tradition kept alive in Annapolis with spectacular results.

May Day

The enchanting Annapolis May Basket tradition was started more than six decades ago by the Garden Club of Old Annapolis Towne and is continued today with a friendly annual basket competition. The Club’s dedicated volunteers steadfastly trek the City’s streets to choose the May Basket blue ribbon winners. Baskets created by children are eligible for pink ribbons and lollipops, and all ribbon winners are invited to a tea party. From Main Street to Maryland Avenue to Murray Hill to the Annapolis Arts District, fresh floral displays draw visitors downtown to behold the beauty.

Visit Flower Mart for May Baskets and Flowers

May Day Happy customers at the Flower Mart

Want to display a May Basket? You can create your own basket or ask a talented friend or florist for help. For fresh cut flowers and advice, visit the annual Annapolis Flower Mart held by the local Four Rivers Garden Club. This year’s Flower Mart is on April 30th, the day before May Day.

May Day

A spring tradition of the Four Rivers Garden Club for more than seventy years, the Flower Mart is held outdoors next to the Market House at the foot of Main Street. Look for the colorful ribbons dancing in the breeze on the traditional Maypole. Here you can purchase a unique ready-made May Basket or cut flowers and foliage to make your own basket. There is also a garden shed tag sale for the spring shopper, along with other garden delights.

Order Your May Day Basket

The Club’s talented designers also make one-of-a-kind May Baskets that can be pre-ordered for delivery to your home or business on April 30th. The Club’s flower arranging experts create these May Baskets for the community to help beautify Annapolis on May Day and to raise funds for Club service projects. The proceeds of the flower sale are returned to the community for gardening projects and education to encourage environmental responsibility.

May Day

Flower Mart: Monday, April 30, 2018 8:30 am to 2:00 pm City Dock at Hopkins Plaza next to the Market House For information or to order a May Basket, contact cpenningtonsc@gmail.com

May Day Basket Display: Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 10:00 am lasting throughout the day Historic District, Maryland Avenue, Inner West Street, and Murray Hill

The traditional May Basket is among the prettiest sights around and a welcome harbinger of spring. Come downtown to join us in this time-honored tradition. Flowers will be everywhere, cascading from lampposts, tumbling from window boxes, and spilling from May Baskets in front of shops and homes.

You’re bound to be inspired by all the beauty to behold. Maybe you’ll be moved to create your own May Basket, and maybe – just maybe – you’ll win a blue ribbon!


Photos courtesy of Ann Powell