It’s that time of year again! The time where the tulips bloom, funnel cake stands pop up down eighth street, and the only form of shoes people seem to be wearing are wooden ones. Tulip Time is just around the corner (May 5-12).
Tulip Time actually began as a small festival. The idea came from a high school biology teacher who proposed her idea of commemorating Holland’s Dutch heritage. Her proposal was accepted and in 1929, the City of Holland planted it’s first crop of 100,000 tulips. Because there was an overwhelming amount of visitors, the festival was repeated and in later years the number of days were lengthened. Holland’s Tulip Time Festival was even named in the Top 20 events in the world by the International Festival and Events Association and one of the Top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association 21 times! To find out more about the history of Tulip Time, click here.
But this year is a little different. Because of the especially warm winter that West Michigan received, the tulips have already bloomed! However, “the Holland community sees this as a tremendous opportunity to lengthen the annual celebration of the tulips.” The Downtown Holland Organization is encouraging people to come a week or two early to see all of the gorgeous tulips. In exchange, many hotels are offering excellent discounts on stays. Click here to see the discounts from local hotels.
During the week of the Tulip Festival there will be dutch dancing, parades, carnivals, Dutch Marktplaats, music, and of course Dutch Village and Windmill Island will both be open for tours exploring Dutch heritage and the tulip farms. Click here to see the full list of Tulip Time events.
New Holland Brewing Company Restaurant & Pub will have Red Tulip on tap for the festival. Red Tulip is a red ale that features rich and smooth flavors of malted barley, balanced by underlying hints of dark fruit. Also, new this year to the Tulip Time Festival will be “The Beer Pad” across the street from the pub! NHBC is a sponsor of the event and will have beer on tap from Wednesday until Saturday. It will be a great place to have a beer and enjoy some carnival food! There is no cover for this event and people of all ages are allowed in The Beer Pad. Andy Frasco will be playing at the Pub on Friday night, May 11th and Otis will be playing Saturday night, the 12th. Both bands will be on from 10pm-1am. To view the entire live music schedule at the pub, click here.
Alongside these events, NHBC will partake in the Wednesday and Saturday parades on the bike-n-bar! Because the Pub is one of the best and busiest places to watch the parades, you can enjoy a seat in the Fairbanks room or on the front patio to see the bike-n-bar go by! Last but not least, New Holland’s General Manager and Partner, Dave White, will be walking in his Dutch costume for the LAST TIME this year! Be sure to give him a big shout-out for all of the hard work he’s done on the Tulip Time Board of Directors for the past six years. Thanks Dave!