Tulip Festivals: Celebrate Spring with Colorful Flowers

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.

Colorful fields of flowers at the Holland Michigan Tulip Festival
Colorful fields of flowers at the Holland Michigan Tulip Festival | Source

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!

A markerSkagit Valley Tulip Festival -
Mt Vernon, WA, USA
[get directions]

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

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.

A markerTulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan -
Holland, MI, USA
[get directions]

Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan

Celebrate spring with the arrival of tulips
Celebrate spring with the arrival of tulips | Source

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!

A markerTulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa -
Orange City, IA, USA
[get directions]

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!

A markerPella Tulip Time -
Pella, IA 50219, USA
[get directions]

Tulip Festival Parade in Pella, Iowa

Fields of colorful tulips brighten up a gray day
Fields of colorful tulips brighten up a gray day | Source

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.

A markerAlbany Tulip Festival -
Albany, NY, USA
[get directions]

Oregon hosts impressive tulip festivals, too
Oregon hosts impressive tulip festivals, too | Source

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!

A markerOttowa Canada -
Ottawa, ON, Canada
[get directions]

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

A markerSpalding Linconshire England -
Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK
[get directions]

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? | Source

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!

A markerBelle Plaine Tulip Time Festival -
Belle Plaine, KS 67013, USA
[get directions]

My favorite color of purple dresses up spring tulips
My favorite color of purple dresses up spring tulips | Source

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!

show route and directions
A markerFulton Illinois -
Fulton, IL 61252, USA
[get directions]

B markerDutch Days in Fulton Illinois -
Fulton, IL 61252, USA
[get directions]

Fields of tulips are simply delightful
Fields of tulips are simply delightful | Source

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 Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest 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.

A markerTulip Fest in Woodburn Oregon -
Woodburn, OR, USA
[get directions]

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Comments 64 comments

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

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


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick

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


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Beautiful and informative Hub.

A real winner.

Up and awesome


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


melbel profile image

melbel 5 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

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.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

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.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

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 !!!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

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/


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

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!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

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.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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

Fossillady - got it! Thanks


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

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.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Hi Steph,

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

Thanks for sharing,

Take care

Eiddwen.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

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!


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 5 years ago

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


bethparker profile image

bethparker 5 years ago from Grant, MI

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.


Lydia 5 years ago

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!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 5 years ago from USA

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.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi ReuVera,

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


JD Barlow profile image

JD Barlow 5 years ago from Southeast US

Excellent hub! I love all the photos.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

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


SUSANJK profile image

SUSANJK 5 years ago from Florida

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

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.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


SJKSJK profile image

SJKSJK 5 years ago from delray beach, florida

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


E. A. Wright profile image

E. A. Wright 5 years ago from New York City

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

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!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


chuckandus6 profile image

chuckandus6 5 years ago from The Country-Side

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


myi4u profile image

myi4u 5 years ago from United Kingdom

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!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


WillSteinmetz profile image

WillSteinmetz 5 years ago

Very wonderful flower of the word.


daisyjae profile image

daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

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!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


elizabethkish profile image

elizabethkish 4 years ago from Myrtle Beach, SC

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


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

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


Nathalie 4 years ago

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?


kerbev profile image

kerbev 2 years ago from Upstate, NY

I go see the tulips in Albany every year.


lizabethjcarter profile image

lizabethjcarter 2 years ago from Oklahoma City

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.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

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!

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