Earlier this month, we headed to Pella to check out Tulip Time!
T has attended Tulip Time before but this was my first time. He has family who live in Pella but they headed out of town the day we went. Hopefully we’ll get to hang out with them at the festival next year!
The annual spring festival, which started in 1935, celebrates all things Dutch, and runs from Thursday to Saturday during the first week of May. It features tulip gardens, exhibits, shows, tours, kids’ activities, concerts and twice-daily parades – an afternoon parade and a lighted evening parade. (Unfortunately, the parades were canceled this year due to COVID-19). Some events and activities have entrance fees but many are free.
(TIP: If you’re not interested in attending the festival but still want to check out the tulips, Dutch bakeries and/or shops, I’ve heard that the weekend BEFORE Tulip Time can be a great time to do so. That way you can avoid the big crowds).
We had a great time just walking around and taking in all of the sights. If you’re not familiar with Pella, it’s a charming town brimming with historical sights, museums, Dutch architecture, restaurants, bakeries and shops. At any given time, especially on weekends, there are loads of tourists frequenting the square. In addition to Tulip Time, I’ve heard the town really shines at Christmas time as well.
Tulip Time features 300,000(!) tulips. While some were a little past their peak, most were BEAUTIFUL. In my opinion, tulips are the quintessential symbol of spring!
Lake had a lot of fun
tiptoeing through frolicking around the tulips!
The area of the Festival we didn’t try out was the food. (Big fail, I know!) There are various food booths from local restaurants and street vendors alike. Next year I definitely want to try out Poffertjes (mini sweet pancakes) and Stroopwafels (two waffle cookies sandwiching hot caramel-molasses filling).
HOWEVER… I did not fail in procuring my beloved Dutch letters. For me, no trip to Pella is complete without a stop at Jaarsma Bakery. They have the most delectable Dutch treats with my absolute favorite being their famous Dutch letters. (Vander Ploeg Bakery is another great bakery in Pella as well).
I’m drooling just looking back at this photo!
Overall, we had a wonderful time at Tulip Time and will be back! I definitely want to try out some of the delicious Dutch food and see a parade!