Tulip Time

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Tulip Time

Second weekend in May
When a group of high school students in Pella, Iowa, staged an operetta called Tulip Time in Pella in 1935, the only tulips growing in the town were in wooden pots. But the musical performance gave the local chamber of commerce an idea for promoting the town's Dutch heritage. They hired tulip specialists from the Netherlands to teach them how to plant and care for tulips. Then they planted thousands of bulbs and got the local historical society started preserving the town's Dutch buildings and heirlooms.
Today Pella (named "city of refuge" by the first Dutch immigrants, who were fleeing religious intolerance in their homeland) has been renovated to resemble a typical village in the Netherlands. During the festival, townspeople dress in Dutch provincial costumes and engage in such activities as street scrubbing, authentic Dutch dancing and folk music, and tours of the formal tulip gardens. One of these gardens features a Dutch windmill and a pond shaped like a wooden shoe.
Unlike most local festivals, Tulip Time is not a commercial event. There are no souvenir stands or food booths, although the local shops, museums, and restaurants offer a wide variety of Dutch specialties. Many of the events take place at the Tulip Torne, a tower with twin pylons more than 65 feet high that was built as a memorial to the early Dutch settlers.
CONTACTS:
Pella Historical Village
507 Franklin Ave.
Pella, IA 50219
641-628-4311; fax: 641-628-9192
www.pellatuliptime.com
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 59
References in periodicals archive ?
Her suggestion led to the Tulip Time Festival, which was launched the following year.
Like Castroville, California's Artichoke Festival or Pella, Iowa's Tulip Time Festival, most are subdued harvest or historical celebrations.
AP--Something new is on tap for the annual Tulip Time festival in Holland, MI.
The largely Dutch-descended populaceof Holland likes to think its annual Tulip Time Festival is the closest link to the homeland without a passport and a transatlantic flight.
At Holalnd, you see a tidy little city that swells by hundreds of thousands during its famour Tulip Time Festival.