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HomeTop NewsI went to the annual tulip festival in a small Michigan city surrounded by Dutch culture and traditions. Here's what it was like.

I went to the annual tulip festival in a small Michigan city surrounded by Dutch culture and traditions. Here’s what it was like.


Insider’s Gabi Stevenson loved her first visit to the Tulip Time festival in Holland, Michigan. Gabi Stevenson/Insider I visited the Tulip Time festival in Holland, Michigan, for the first time. The festival featured thousands of tulips, as well as activities and events.

I was delighted by the event in the quaint city that highlighted Dutch culture and traditions. I recently toured the tulip festival in Holland, Michigan, which celebrates the flower and the city’s Dutch origins. This year’s festival ran from May 7 to May 15.

I loved these tulip-shaped chairs. They were surprisingly comfortable!Gabi Stevenson/InsiderSource: Tulip Time official websiteAccording to the Holland Area Visitors Bureau, the city was founded by Dutch settlers in 1847. Downtown Holland was very clean and lined with trees and flowers.

Gabi Stevenson/InsiderLida Rogers, a Holland High School teacher, originated the idea for a tulip festival in 1927, according to the Tulip Time official website. Rogers also wanted the city to adopt the tulip as its official flower because of its ties to the Netherlands, the website states. Tulip Time has since expanded throughout the decades and celebrates Holland’s Dutch heritage.

It should be noted that indigenous people inhabited the land before the Dutch settled in the area, according to historian Robert Swierenga.  Source: Holland Area Visitors Bureau Insider previously named Holland one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the Midwest. Tulip Time banners were hung all around the downtown Holland area.

Gabi Stevenson/InsiderI was excited to explore the city during the Tulip Time festival. Tulip Time executive director Gwen Auwerda told Insider that the 2018 festival drew more than 500,000 people to the city of Holland for both ticketed events and free activities. Former Tulip Time development and marketing director Darlene Kuipers told the Grand Rapids Business Journal in 2018 that the festival’s goal was to conduct an economic impact study on the event every three to five years.

The 2018 study is the most recent.  The festival takes place in different locations all over Holland, so there’s no entry fee. Certain exhibits are also free to enter.

Source: InsiderI decided to start at the large De Zwaan Windmill in Windmill Island Gardens. I couldn’t believe how bright the tulips looked in person. Gabi Stevenson/InsiderThe windmill is the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the US, according to the Holland Area Visitors Bureau.

It’s surrounded by rows of tulips in the gardens. Entry to the gardens costs $12 for adults and $6 for kids year-round, Holland’s official website states. Insider’s reporter covered the cost of this event herself.

 One thing I didn’t expect to find among the rows of flowers were these dark purple tulips. Because of the sun’s glare, I almost thought they were black. These tulips stood out among the bright colors with their dark hue.

Gabi Stevenson/InsiderI was able to attend the festival when the tulips were at peak bloom. The whole Tulip Time festival was great for pictures. Gabi Stevenson/InsiderThere were so many people taking pictures in the tulips and in front of the windmill.

The air was fresh and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. After walking past the windmill, I stopped over at the small row of gift shops, which are open from mid-April to mid-October. There was also a smaller windmill and an antique Dutch carousel nearby.

It really felt like spring in Michigan on this day. Gabi Stevenson/InsiderSource: The city of Holland’s official websiteThe gift shops had lots of cool details, like this authentic Dutch mailbox and this punny sign for a cheese tasting. I’ll admit I chuckled at the sign on the right.

Gabi Stevenson/InsiderI had to go inside and try some of the locally made cheese, conveniently offered in little bowls. I would have taken a whole bowl with me if I could. Gabi Stevenson/InsiderAfter leaving the gift shops, I drove over to the country fairgrounds to see the Tulip Immersion Garden.

The Tulip Time official website said it was designed by Dutch horticulturist Ibo Gülsen. It was nice to have the gazebo in the area for some shade. Dutch horticulturist, Ibo GülsenSource: Tulip Time official websiteThe exhibit features informational signs about the history of the tulip and more than 50,000 tulips, according to the Tulip Time official website.

I enjoyed walking through the rows of tulips and seeing how all the colors were arranged. Gabi Stevenson/InsiderI thought it was a nice experience, but don’t think it was worth the $15 ticket I bought. I had already seen many of these tulips at Windmill Island Gardens, so I didn’t feel like I was experiencing anything really different or new.

The event would be good for people who want to see tulips without the crowds at Windmill Island Gardens. Insider paid for the ticket to this event, per the company’s reporting standards. Source: Tulip Time official websiteAfter admiring all the tulips, I stopped by the Tulip Time quilt show.

These two flower-themed quilts were made by artists Marcia Weilenga and Theresa Murray (L) and Carla Neinhuis and Terri Watson (R). Gabi Stevenson/InsiderPart of the festival was held in a local church. The Tulip Time quilt show was filled with beautiful quilts made by local artists.

I think it was worth the $6 ticket because it showcased art that was unique to Holland’s residents. Insider paid for the ticket to this event, per the company’s reporting standards. A fun surprise at the quilt show were these large, wooden clogs that decorated the room.

This pair was my favorite, painted with tulips and pianos. I would love a pair of these wooden clogs in my size. Gabi Stevenson/InsiderAfter stopping at the church, I went into downtown Holland to see what the city was like.

Everyone on the street seemed to be in good spirits. Gabi Stevenson/InsiderThe downtown area on 8th Street was bustling. After I found parking, I grabbed lunch at a local deli and started exploring.

There were lots of families and street musicians. One of my favorite stores was the Holland Clock Company, which carries tons of German cuckoo clocks, Dutch souvenirs, and beer steins. I don’t know how one of these would look in my house, but I definitely appreciated the craftsmanship of each clock.

Gabi Stevenson/InsiderThe last place I visited before I left was The Tin Ceiling, a gift shop that sells homewares, accessories, and Scandinavian snacks. I have a weakness for Scandinavian chocolate. I have a weakness for all chocolate, really.

Gabi Stevenson/InsiderI ended up going home and trying Norwegian candy by Laban. The packaging was entirely in Norwegian, so it definitely felt like a new experience. I can’t say I’ve ever tried anything that looked like this sweet treat.

Gabi Stevenson/InsiderOverall, I had a fantastic time at my first Tulip Time festival. I had to stop by some tulips downtown for a quick picture. Gabi Stevenson/InsiderEveryone I met was very friendly, the smell of fresh flowers filled the air, and I got to enjoy the benefits of a small city.

I would definitely go back next year and try to fill my day with as many activities as possible. Read the original article on Insider.

From: insider
URL: https://www.insider.com/tulip-time-festival-holland-michigan-photos-2022-5

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