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daffodil dash

Pixabay photo

By Joan Nickeson

Inspired by the beautification of Dutch parks filled with daffodil blooms, Old Town Blooms and the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce are hosting the second annual Daffodil Dash. This hybrid event includes a virtual 5k and 10k, taking place now through the end of April.

The 1k Daffodil Dash fun run/walk/wheel has an in-person option with three trips around the Chamber Train Car Park on Saturday, April 23. Arrive at 9 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. start. Virtual participants can upload their race times and photos as of April 16. The first 100 registrants receive a t-shirt and a Bloomer Buff. All race participants receive a Daffodil Dash medal. Profits go to community beautification by Old Town Blooms, and the Chamber Flag Fund.

April 23rd was chosen for the 1k Fun Run to commemorate both Earth Day and Arbor Day. Sunburst Tree Experts will be giving away tree saplings to the first 100 attendees this day. There will be also be free bicycle inspections and a shred event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sponsors also include Bass Electric, Buttercup’s Dairy, Christmas Decor, Coach Realty, Emerald Magic Lawn Care, Flushing Bank, Got Poison Ivy, Old Town Blooms, Suffolk Legislator Kara Hahn, Port Jefferson Physical Therapy, Sunburst Tree Experts, Team Perrone Realty, and TREK. The Chamber Train Car Park is located at the intersection of NYS Rte 112/Rte 347/Canal Road. Entrance is on Rose Avenue in Port Jefferson Station. For more information or to register, visit events.elitefeats.com/22daffodil or www.pjstchamber.com. Joan

Joan Nickeson is an active member of the PJS/Terryville community and community liaison to the PJS/T Chamber of Commerce.

Photo from Craig den Hartog

The Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce is presenting the Old Town Blooms Daffodil Dash Virtual one mile, 5K and 10K Run/Walk later this month. 

Chamber member and owner of Emerald Magic Lawn Care Craig den Hartog has decades worth of horticultural consultant experience. He and a team of local people began planting daffodils as an effort to clean up the community — an initiative he called Old Town Blooms.

“Me and a few neighbors were noticing the roadside getting more and more litter,” he said. “Instead of complaining about it, we took it upon ourselves to clean it up.”

Along Old Town Road, from Coram to up near Setauket, more than 30,000 daffodils have been planted, brightening things up. The initiative has expanded throughout the years.

“If you clean up an area, it stays clean,” he said.

The daffodils became so beloved by the community that last year, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the group wanted to create a day dedicated to the flower. Unfortunately, thanks to the global virus, that day was cancelled.

So, this year, in a partnership with the chamber, they decided to host a virtual race, that will help support the Port Jefferson Station Train Car, flag fund and community beautification process.

Called The Great Daffodil Dash, funds raised from the race will help keep the flags flying and help repair the train car — a historic spot that the chamber acquired in the 70s — while helping to buy more bulbs for the area.

Den Hartog said the PJST Chamber Train car is one of the last remaining early 1900 electric baggage coach cars. It was put in service around 1914 traveling from Jamaica station to Manhattan. The train car was transported to its current location in the mid-1970’s and is a Suffolk county landmark situated alongside the chamber’s memorial American flag within the Town of Brookhaven. 

The race will begin April 17 and go until April 25. Participants can choose from several different distances, including a one mile, 5K, 10K or simply a walk. Racers then use social media to post their times, and photos, for the event. 

To sign up for the race, or to donate to the cause, visit pjstchamber.com. For questions, contact Craig at [email protected].