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Flowering on May 1, the 62nd Annual May Basket Competition returns to Annapolis’ Historic District with spring’s splendor. This celebration of May Day peaks at 10 in the morning when Annapolitans display their most beautiful floral basket arrangements. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Old Annapolis Towne, this Annapolis tradition celebrates spring with colorful flowers that decorate this historic maritime city. It is a “friendly” contest, judged by volunteers, that many locals look forward to every year.

May Day has become one of the most beautiful days of the year in Annapolis. Every first of May, the doors of homes and businesses in the city’s Historic District are decorated with fresh cut flowers tied with colorful ribbons hanging from baskets. Organizers recommend strolling through this area of centuries-old structures dating to America’s colonial era on this special day to take in the vivid sights. The Murray Hill area and other neighborhoods participate as well.

History and Event Details

Starting as a beautification project sponsored by the Garden Club of Old Annapolis Towne in 1956, the May Basket Competition has become a beloved tradition that gives residents and business owners an opportunity to express their love for their city.

An early morning start on May Day will let you catch the floral arrangements at their fresh-cut best. To be eligible, residents must hang a basket no later than 10 a.m., while businesses have until 11 a.m. 25 Garden Club judges will then hit the streets and begin their evaluations. Over six decades, they have come up with a system that allows them to do their work efficiently. The judges wield flower baskets adorned with streamers while conferring awards of blue, pink, yellow, and purple ribbons on the best baskets.

Every winning competitor receives a formal invitation to a traditional tea party, evoking colonial times, at a Garden Club member’s home. Delicious cookies, tea sandwiches, and petit fours will be served.

Your Inn Near the May Basket Competition

Annapolis’ Historic District is a short stroll away from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your room at our toll free number (877) 330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.

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