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Tulip Festivals: Celebrate Spring With Colorful Flowers

Stephanie loves to travel. She has written numerous articles with tips, photographs, and information on places to visit.

Tulips Herald the Arrival of Spring

Ready for winter to be over? Spring fever gets into high gear when tulips start emerging.

Of all the spring bulb flowers, tulips are my favorite. Blooming in a multitude of colors, some solid and others tipped with contrasting hues, tulips are a "warm up" act for summer garden beauties, including the hybrid tea rose.

Although tulips are described at times as a perinneal flower, the bulbs usually exhaust within two years. If you get more than two seasons of tulips from the same bulbs, consider yourself lucky. Not only are the flowers ephemeral, but they also require advance planning two seasons ahead. Each bulb must be planted in the fall, at the proper depth, with appropriate soil and feed if you are going to enjoy a spring tulip garden.

Across the Northern Hemisphere, there are a number of tulip festivals that help visitors celebrate the arrival of spring. Of course, the cheery spring flowers are the centerpiece of the show, but throw in a few parades, music and art work, and its no wonder people from all over flock to tulip festivals each year in April and May.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2018

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2018

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

My first visit to a tulip festival was to the famous Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, about 1 hour north of Seattle, Washington, or 1 1/2 hours south of Vancouver, B.C., adjacent to the town of Mt. Vernon, Washington. Driving along Interstate-5, you cannot help but witness the unending blankets of colors in varying shades that stretch for miles. The official tulip festival lasts throughout the month of April, but after a mild winter, you may just enjoy some early blooms, too!

If you travel to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, be sure to bring a camera, as well as boots and an umbrella. April showers in this region are frequent and fields can be muddy. Make arrangements ahead of your visit for taking a shuttle bus, or carpooling. Parking can be difficult to find nearby. Over 1 million visitors make the trip to see the famous tulips here.

This tulip festival is one of the best known in the entire Pacific Northwest and is a popular tourist destination. Plan on an entire day for your excursion - its well worth it!

The Skagit Valley, Washington Tulip Festival is one of my favorites

Gorgeous Tulips

Tulips in Washington State

Tulips in Washington State

Holland, Michigan Tulip Time Festival

Michigan is a bit colder than Washington State. So, the annual tulip festival in the aptly-named Holland, Michigan, is scheduled for the second week in May, when the days are longer and the tulips have decided to emerge from the ground in full color.

The Tulip Time Festival is a local celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, which includes - of course - blooming tulips!

According to its website, the festival is:

“a multi-generational event that has a little bit of something for everyone including; 3 amazing parades, multiple Dutch Dance performances, concerts, theatre, Dutch attractions, Dutch food, children’s events, trolley tours and so much more.”

Visitors suggest that you don't just visit the Tulip Time Festival for the day. Holland, Michigan is steeped in Dutch heritage for all ages to enjoy. There's a Dutch Village family theme park, a Wooden Shoe factory, Windmill Island Gardens, and the Holland Museum and Dutch Galleries.

The Tulip Time Festival only lasts one week, so be sure to plan ahead so you don't miss the fun.

Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan

Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa

Also in late May, you can attend the Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa. Join with locals to celebrate Dutch heritage and take part in classic small town Americana. That's right - just three short days to tiptoe through the tulips here.

Beyond the beautiful bulbs, you can enjoy parades each day, marvel at classic Dutch costumes, and head to the carnival. In fact, the festival has been named one of North America's 100 Best Events!

Here's what the official website promises:

Festivities include music and dancing by hundreds of children and adults in intricate authentic costumes, two daily parades featuring top area marching bands, nightly musical theatre, a carnival midway, fun ethnic food treats, plus thousands of tulips and a dozen reproduction windmills throughout a charming village

Once again, you'll want to book early… the town expects 100,000 visitors to the Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa!

Pella Tulip Time

If you can’t make it to Orange City, then consider heading to Pella, Iowa for Pella Tulip Time, in early May. Like Orange City, Pella is a historic town with Dutch roots. Learn about Dutch traditions, while you're enjoying fields of tulips and much more.

In fact, each of the three festival days, there are 6 parades (3 in the morning and 3 in the evening). Talk about celebrating big!

Immerse yourself in the old-world charm of the Netherlands as you stroll along our brick streets visiting our Dutch storybook storefronts, the Molengracht canal, and our authentic 1850′s working windmill. Don’t miss the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp in the Pella Historical Village.

Here's a fun trivia fact if you head to Pella this year: The town is the site of an impressive Guinness World Record: 2605 dancers in wooden shoes!

Tulip Festival Parade in Pella, Iowa

Fields of colorful tulips brighten up a gray day

Fields of colorful tulips brighten up a gray day

Albany Tulip Festival

Another popular May tulip festival is a free event in Albany New York. Plan a quick weekend in May, because this festival only lasts a weekend. If you attend, you can see over 200,000 tulips in Washington Park at the Tulip Festival of Albany, New York.

The Albany Tulip Festival features more than 140 different types of tulips, as well as art exhibits, live music and other entertainment. The festival takes place in the oldest Dutch settlement in America.

Oregon hosts impressive tulip festivals, too

Oregon hosts impressive tulip festivals, too

Canadian Tulip Festival

The Canadian Tulip Festival, unlike some of the other events highlighted in this hub, lasts the better part of the entire month of May. The celebration is part of the anniversary festivities to honor Canada’s assistance in liberating the Netherlands. Held in Ottawa, Canada, the festival includes a tulip tour, an evening ball (proceeds to benefit clean water projects in Africa) and a ceremony honoring Canadian veterans.

More than 300,000 tulips bloom in Commissioner’s Park during the festival. Enjoy the flowers, listen to musical performances and celebrate along with locals and tourists alike!

Amsterdam Tulips

Spalding Flower Festival and Spring Fair, UK

Looking for a tulip festival in the UK? Head to the annual Spalding Flower Festival and Spring Fair, which takes place over three days in late April to early May. The event is held in Spalding, Lincolnshire, England, which is is considered to be the bulb growing area of the UK.

The three day extravaganza includes carnival floats, spring flowers (tulips and more), marching bands, markets and a country fair.

For more information: Tel: 01775 724843 or email info@flowerparade.org

10 Million Tulips in a Single Garden in Kashmir

Is it any wonder why tulips are the most popular flower in spring?

Is it any wonder why tulips are the most popular flower in spring?

Tulip Time Festival in Belle Plaine, Kansas

Back in the U.S.A., its almost time for the Tulip Time Festival in Belle Plaine, Kansas.

Another free event that celebrates the arrival of spring with gorgeous blooms, a parade, carnival, car show and much more. This tulip festival is one of just a few that takes place in April.

There is also a talent show, youth street dance, arts and crafts fair and plenty of food and entertainment. Lots of fun for all ages!

The Belle Plaine Tulip Time Festival is located at the historic Bartlett Arboretum and is sponsored by the Arboretum and the City’s Chamber of Commerce.

This festival has been an event for nearly 30 years!

My favorite color of purple dresses up spring tulips

My favorite color of purple dresses up spring tulips

Dutch Days Tulip Festival in Fulton, Illinois

There are so many tulip festivals and spring celebrations in the United States! Another Midwest-based celebration is Dutch Days in Fulton, Illinois, held each year on first weekend in May. The 2-day festival in early May features cheery tulips, and celebrates the Dutch heritage of the small town.

Enjoy fields of tulips, watch Dutch dancing, take windmill tours, see a Dutch treasures collection and check out the quilt show. But you only have a weekend to fit on all the fun!

A parade, fun run and Early American Crafters presentation are also part of Dutch Days!

Fields of tulips are simply delightful

Fields of tulips are simply delightful

Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest Woodburn, Oregon

We are coming full circle with this tulip festival tour, back to the Pacific Northwest. While not quite the scale of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington, Oregon has a fairly impressive showing at the in Woodburn, Oregon. About 20 minutes south of Portland, the festival showcases more than 40 acres of fields in bloom, and offers visitors the chance to buy their own bulbs to enjoy in their home garden.

We particularly love this tulip festival because it lasts 6 weeks, from late March until early May.

The tulip festival also includes wine tasting, pony rides for kids, authentic wooden shoe making and photography classes. It seems quite appropriate that there are contests for the best umbrella, as well.

Considering all the beautiful tulips that emerge as a result of the rain each spring, the April showers may seem a bit more welcome.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Eddie Olsen from Amsterdam on June 15, 2020:

Nice article.. : )

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 13, 2015:

Wow! So many tulip festivals in the USA, I wish there was one here in Ohio. Very lovely and visual with those photos. Real beautiful for this travelogue of sorts. Voted up!

Joslyn Carter from Oklahoma City on November 19, 2014:

Oh wow! Tulips are my favorite flower. I've got a photo or two of them on my own hubpage. They just don't last long enough. Do they? If I had my own garden I would definitely plant them myself. Winter is just beginning, but since I've read this hubpage, I can't wait for spring to begin! Just one more beautiful thing to look forward to.

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on August 27, 2014:

I go see the tulips in Albany every year.

Nathalie on April 24, 2012:

Hi! I'll be in Amsterdam next week and am so excited to see the tulips! I noticed you had mentioned something about photography classes. Had you take them at Keukenhof? I noticed that on the website they only offer it in Dutch. Was tat the case with you?

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 12, 2012:

Hi elizabeth, then I'll come too! Love tulips and Spring Time! All the best, Steph

elizabethkish from Myrtle Beach, SC on March 12, 2012:

Awesome Hub, wish I could go on a Tulip Tour all over the US and Canada this spring!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 29, 2011:

Thank you Prasetio - These tulip festivals give you a great appreciation of Spring and nature's beauty. Best to you, Steph

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 28, 2011:

Beautiful, Steph. You have done a great research. I really appreciate your work. I love all stunning pictures about tulip and the video was awesome. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up!

Prasetio

daisyjae from Canada on May 19, 2011:

I would love to go to one of these festivals! Tulips are one of my favorites, and so easy to grow. I especially like your pictures. Rated up/beautiful!

WillSteinmetz on May 10, 2011:

Very wonderful flower of the word.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 07, 2011:

Thanks myi4u, that's too bad that the weather affected the tulip festival. In my area of the world, the winter has been cold and long, so the tulips are blooming later than usual. Best to you, Steph

myi4u from United Kingdom on May 07, 2011:

These are really nice pictures that you have here. I went to Amsterdam last weekend to see the tulips at Keukenhof. It wasn't as nice as I thought it would be simply because most of the tulips had been cut off due to the good weather. I would love to go back there sometime next year to see a field full of tulips!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 03, 2011:

I hope you get out to enjoy spring's flowers - especially with all the wonderful tulip festivals!

Nichol marie from The Country-Side on May 03, 2011:

Really Pretty I want to go there would love to see the tulip festival with the kids

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on April 29, 2011:

Thanks Peggy! I'd love to visit Pella sometime. Hope your husband enjoys the tulip hub. ;-) Happy Spring to you! Steph

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2011:

Loved this hub! Tulips are always a bright harbinger of Spring in the North. My husband spent the first 10 years of his life in Iowa and attended Tulip Time in Pella. My mother and I drove through Pella once and walked around. Quite the charming town! Will have to send this hub to my husband as he not only knows Pella, but tulips are also his favorite flower. Up, useful and beautiful votes!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on April 26, 2011:

Now is certainly the time to enjoy tulips! Best to you, Steph

E. A. Wright from New York City on April 26, 2011:

Great inspiration here for a cross-continent flower hunting trip! Thanks.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on April 10, 2011:

Thank you so much! Tulips and spring are practically synonymous. Enjoy the sunshine - Steph

SJKSJK from delray beach, florida on April 10, 2011:

I just love tulips. This is an absolutely beautiful hub with gorgeous pictures.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 27, 2011:

Thank you toknow! Waiting for tulip bulbs to come up is indeed a lot of the fun. Bring on Spring! Best, Steph

toknowinfo on March 27, 2011:

Outstanding hub! I also love tulips, and as I can see from this article, there is always more to learn. I love planting the bulbs and waiting for the tulips to come up. It is always a pleasant sight to see them grow. Thanks for a truly well done hub. Rated up awesome and beautiful.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 15, 2011:

Thanks - I really love tulips too. This was a fun hub to write. :)

SUSANJK from Florida on March 15, 2011:

Great hub. Love the pictures, tulips are my favorite.

Emma from Houston TX on March 15, 2011:

is nice I like all your images, what an beautiful hub thanks.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 12, 2011:

Thanks JD, tulip photographs are just so cheery, aren't they? Best, Steph

JD Barlow from Southeast US on March 12, 2011:

Excellent hub! I love all the photos.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 11, 2011:

Hi ReuVera,

Wild tulips would be quite a sight! I would love to see those colorful spring flowers in your homeland. Best, Steph

ReuVera from USA on March 11, 2011:

I love tulips! Their smell is smell of spring.

I am from Kazakhstan where tulips grow in steppe. Wild tulips, with small heads. In spring people go into steppe to enjoy this amazing look and smell.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 10, 2011:

Thanks Beth and Lydia! Spring is right around the corner - time to think about tulips, sunshine and enjoying the outdoors. Cheers, Steph

Lydia on March 10, 2011:

Ah, the thought of tulips in the spring can chase the dark clouds away...I'd love to grow the beautiful "Queen of the Night" tulip myself this fall, if I can find some bulbs...thanks for the hub!

bethparker from Grant, MI on March 10, 2011:

What an awesome hub! You sure found a lot of beautiful pictures to use in it. I remember going to the Holland Tulip Festival once as a child. It would be great to go back again someday.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 10, 2011:

Hi Michelle, thank you so much! I really do hope you can see a tulip festival in person one day. The pictures do not do them justice. Cheers to you! Steph

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 10, 2011:

Hi Steph, the photos are so lovely and the tulips are breathtaking! Maybe someday I'd get to see a tulip festival! :)

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 09, 2011:

Great link, Nifty! I love the "tip toe through the tulips" song. In fact, I was humming it while writing this hub. :) Best, Steph

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 09, 2011:

Hi Audrey - I do miss the tulip festival since moving to Central Oregon. When I get up there to visit family, I always put it on my list of things to do.

nifty@50 on March 09, 2011:

A very beautiful and interesting hub! I think of "Tiny Tim" who used to sing "Tip Toe through the Tulips" back in the late 60's. Here's a You Tube link if you're curious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skU-jBFzXl0

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on March 09, 2011:

One of the things I do miss about the Seattle area...my mom is about 20 minutes away, too so we usually just go travel all the backroads. The beauty is also incredible in wintertime in Skagit when the fields are all home to the tundra swans and geese.

Great hub on a GREAT subject!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 09, 2011:

Hi Fay and Eiddwen - thank you! Tulips certainly brighten the day, don't they? Have a terrific one, Steph

Eiddwen from Wales on March 09, 2011:

Hi Steph,

I loved this colourful hub . A gem to brighten anyone's day.

Thanks for sharing,

Take care

Eiddwen.

Fay Paxton on March 09, 2011:

Tulips spell Spring. I can't wait to see them across the landscape. In the meantime, you have given us a beautiful and useful hub.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 08, 2011:

Hi chspublish - thank you! Isn't spring glorious? I love celebrating "early" with these tulip photographs and dreams of the upcoming tulip festivals. Best to you, Steph

chspublish from Ireland on March 08, 2011:

Hi Steph, nice hub, gorgeous flowers. I'm almost there in the colourful fields. What a wondrous sight!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 08, 2011:

Thanks Genna - I really love tulips too. They are the ultimate spring flower (even more so than daffodils IMHO)!

Fossillady - got it! Thanks

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 08, 2011:

Thanks for this lovely article on one of my favorite flowers. I'm a "spring bunny" who loves this time of year. Some people like roses; I prefer tulips.

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on March 08, 2011:

I just realized I didn't tell you the name of his band! I'm such a dork sometimes. It's Indacodablue, Thanks Steph, you're a doll!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 08, 2011:

Hi Fossillady - I am happy to help! I posted this hub on my FB page, so will put up your link to ask for votes. I hope your son's band gets to take part in the Tulip Time festivities this year - good luck!

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on March 08, 2011:

I live ten minutes from Holland, MI. Every year when my boys were in school they marched in the parade with the band. This year my youngest son and his rock band are part of a contest to open the tulip time celebrations. They need votes!!! What do ya say Steph? Do you have facebook? You could post it! I know its asking a lot, but they've fallen behind! http://927thevan.com/tulip-time-fw/

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 08, 2011:

HA! Kashmir - you totally reminded me of the time when my dog ran in crazy circles around a tree we had just planted (bulbs would be coming up around it) and tore up the entire landscape. That was about 10 years ago and I was so angry, but now I have to chuckle. Enjoy spring... and your dog! LOL! Steph

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on March 08, 2011:

Hi stephhicks, Loved all the great information and awesome pictures and videos made it feel spring like ! I have always loved the Tulips that grew in my yard till my dog dug them up .

Awesome hub and vote up !!!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 08, 2011:

Hi Whidbeywriter - it is so lovely in your corner of the world! I grew up in Washington State and there is so much beauty to enjoy. Have a super day, Steph

Mary Gaines from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington on March 08, 2011:

Beautiful hub, I have to agree the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is my favorite too!! Cheers

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 08, 2011:

Hi Cogerson, thank you! There are so many tulip festivals to choose from, I hope you get to go see some of the lovely spring flowers. Best, Steph

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 08, 2011:

That is so touching, Les Trois Chenes! I think that the photographs are beautiful too. Nothing like cheery, colorful tulips to brighten you day. Have a great one, Steph

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on March 08, 2011:

Awesome hub, great photos and video....very informative and interesting.....the Ottawa festival looks like a place to be....voted up

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on March 08, 2011:

This is such a lovely hub. I'd love to go to the festivals, but just looking at your photos brings tears to my eyes - they are so beautiful! Many thanks.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 08, 2011:

Hi melbel - hope you get to go to the tulip festival again this year! Enjoy Spring! Best, Steph

Melanie Shebel from Midwest, USA on March 08, 2011:

I've been to the tulip festival in Holland a few times. I may head up there again this year depending on when I move.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 07, 2011:

Thank you Will! So glad to bring some tulips and cheer to your day! Steph

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 07, 2011:

Hi Bob, I'd love to visit the Ottawa tulip festival! Nice to look forward to the event on a cold (still winter) day, huh? Best, Steph

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 07, 2011:

Hi Darlene, I definitely have spring fever too! We had some stray snowflakes sneaking out of the sky here also. Really looking forward to spring, tulips and warmer weather. Thank you so much for the supportive comment. Cheers to you, Steph

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on March 07, 2011:

Beautiful and informative Hub.

A real winner.

Up and awesome

Bob Ewing from New Brunswick on March 07, 2011:

I have been to the tulip festival in Ottawa, very impressive, thanks for the pics on a snowy late winter day.

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on March 07, 2011:

Reading you awsome beautiful hub while it is snowing here make me chuckle a bit, I am looking at my window, seeing the snow, then I fall into you hub with the swell smell of spring in the air. Love this hub, rate this up up up, I am happy to be back and seeing all my huber friends. Love & peace darski

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