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Pella Celebrates 80th Tulip Time Festival

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PELLA, Iowa -- The additions will be an evening parade and live web cam in the Vermeer Mill.

“We have something a little more unique,” said Carly Van Zomeren-Caligiuri, Pella Historical Society.

“We have two a parades each day, each an hour and half long,” said Van Zomeren-Caligiuri. “One at 2:30 in the afternoon and one at 8:30 at night. So, that one is a lighted parade. That is really exciting for kids. It really keeps their attention, so that is a lot of fun.”

New this year will also be the webcam in the Vermeer Mill. It allows visitors to view the inner workings of the mill at any time.

Officials with the festival expect the attendance for the festival to reach 200,000.

Van Zomeren-Caligiuri said visitors have to stop by the Historical Village Museum if you want the truest Tulip Time experience.

“Well there is so much to do it’s hard to narrow it down,” Van Zomeren-Caligiuri said. “If there were able to come and tour through the historical museum, the village and the windmill that would really encompasses what Tulip Time is about. They also get a taste of the history of Tulip Time, which says a lot about our community.”

Fun facts about Tulip Time:

  • That first festival lacked tulips, so George Heeren, a local cabinet-maker, made 125 four-foot-tall wooden tulips which were placed in flagpole holes around the square, and a tulip committee was formed to make sure 85,000 tulips were planted that fall.
  • The first Tulip Time was in 1935, started by George Heeren.
  • Vermeer Mill is the largest working windmill in the United States, at 12 stories and 124-feet-tall.