Holland Michigan Tulip Festival

My front yard in bloom
There's something so encouraging about seeing tulips in bloom.  It's why my own yard is planted in hundreds of the pretty flowers. We know that winter is behind us and summer ahead.  The days are getting longer and that means more time outside in the sunshine.  Though I would love to be in the Netherlands right now, the US has some pretty good places to enjoy tulips on a smaller scale.

We had been to Pella for tulip season two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the color and festive atmosphere. This year we wanted to see Holland Michigan,  known for its Tulip Time festival. Unfortunately it was very cold, so we didn't stand outside for too long, but we made our way quickly through some of the parks taking a few photos. First stop was the Windmill Island Gardens, where we paid admission, and there were tulips galore as well as costumed performers and a reenactment with fur traders, which was colorful and fun. People could have a tour of the windmill, or see the enormous organ play. Shops sold traditional cookies and sandwiches.

tulips with the white tents in the rear, used by the reenactors and merchants



Next stop was the downtown park Window on the Waterfront, which had a nice monument and again, thousands of tulips. They even had an explanation about why they didn't have more- hungry deer had eaten about 9000 in winter. This is a free stop with walking paths to a nice wetland/wildlife area at the rear. During the festival, there were trolleys to take people around the city.

Traditional Dutch costumes on these statues at the front of the park
There was an art fair at Centennial Park going on during the festival, with unique handcrafted items.  At the center of the park were performing Dutch dancers, though we didn't stay for it.  I just wanted to get into a warm place and drink some coffee. I know the photos look sunny, but it was about 38 degrees F and quite windy. The tulips were indeed beautiful though.  Well worth a visit if you are there in early May.



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