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Tulip Time 2021

Tulips in downtown Holland from last year's canceled event. (Breegan Petruska/The Collegiate)

By Breegan Petruska

After all the events of the last year were canceled, including Tulip Time 2020, It was recently announced that Tulip Time 2021 will take place. The festival, located in Holland, will be held from May 1-9.

Tulip Time is a Dutch festival that began in Holland 92 years ago. Every year, millions gather together to admire the thousands of blooming flowers throughout the city while enjoying local attractions and planned events. Just like last year’s canceled event, this year will also look different. 

Gwen Auwerda, the executive director of Tulip Time, was able to share some insight on this year’s festival. 

“COVID has affected the festival this year,” Auwerda said. “We are planning smaller events and no large public gatherings. The current guidelines are for no more than 300 to be gathered at any time, so our parades and Dutch Dance performances are not happening this year.”

This year, the festival has been planned around COVID-19 safety precautions. While the city is welcoming guests to see the tulips, they are working closely with the recommendations of the Ottawa County Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state officials. To ensure the safety of all visitors, the festival is limiting guests by using timed tickets, selling online tickets only, requiring masks, and setting aside time for high-risk visitors. For more information on the precautions in place, you can visit the festival’s website.

“We have a few new events, walking tours is one I’m most excited about. This is 12 people, one costumed guide, two hours, two miles learning about the community, viewing tulips, and getting some behind-the-scenes knowledge of our community.”

Every year, the City of Holland Parks Department plants 30,000 tulips in pots to be used on floats, at venues, and at different attractions throughout the city. They also do a pre-festival sale, selling 10-inch pots with eight to 10 tulips each. These tulips are sold from March 15 – April 14. They are available for sale on the event website.

There are nine different attraction locations throughout the city of Holland. These locations include historical windmills, galleries, museums, gardens, and Dutch-themed villages. Tulips can be found scattered at all these locations including throughout downtown, and parks around the city. 

“The tulips are always beautiful, and we get a number of photographers who love to visit.  One of our events is a photography class with access to Windmill Island Gardens before they open.  It’s a great opportunity to take pictures with no crowds.”

Currently, the festival organizers are watching COVID-19 numbers and restrictions, so they have not yet announced ticket prices or a full list of events. To keep up with new announcements, donate, or shop you can visit the festival’s website, Facebook, and Instagram