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TULIP TIMING: Sign Of Spring In Bloom

Mother Nature didn’t cooperate last year, but people in Pella say things are looking bright this year. The annual three day Tulip Time festival is now less than a week away.

Listen and look around Pella, and you can tell spring is in bloom. Resident Karen Blom says, “It’s all good. It’s a happy time.”

Tulip Time is full of Dutch dancing, Dutch letters and beautiful blooms. Randy Sikkema says, “The tulips are going to be ok. They’re going to be good actually. There’s going to be a lot of color.”

People plant more than a quarter of a million bulbs around Pella every year. Each costs 18 cents to 26 cents or more. Sikkema says, “The gigantic orange bulb costs $2.50 or $3. It’s a really unique plant. So, it’s really special. The bulb is the size of a soft ball when it goes in the ground.”

The goal is grow picture perfect buds for the annual celebration, which is May 1, 2 and 3 this year. And, organizers hope Mother Nature cooperates. Sikkema says, “The tulips were timed perfectly last year. Then, it snowed at tulip time, which kept the people away.”

Last year’s weather also means there are three events this year that could be considered new. Sikkema says, Wwe had a couple things last year that were new that nobody experienced because of the snow.”

You can try three Dutch Demos. Those take place at nine and ten each morning in the Memorial Hall. You can learn to dress like the Dutch, try Dutch treats and tiptoe through tulips on a guided tour. The beds should be in full bloom by then. Sikkema says, “From the middle of next week until Mother’s Day would be prime time. But, it will definitely be a lot of color at Tulip Time.”

It’s a time Blom is anxious to arrive. She says, “The parades are wonderful, the scrubbing of the streets, the coronation of the queen.”

Tulip time is May 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The parades are a big highlight. You can catch an afternoon parade at 2:30 each day and a lighted evening parade at 8:30.



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