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Pella Tulip Time Organizers Not Worried About Colder Temps Hurting Bloom

PELLA, Iowa – The city of Pella is telling people not to worry, the flowers will be ready in time for Tulip Time.

Pella Parks Manager Chandler Nunnikhoven said people will experience 87 varieties of tulips for the festival this year.

“We’ve planted over 106,000 bulbs last year actually for this tulip time,” Nunnikhoven said.

According to SFgate.com tulips need up to 15 weeks in colder temperatures, otherwise the flower won't grow shoots and bloom.

Nunnikhoven said the tulips are under average for this time measuring at about three inches out of the ground.

"We really don’t maintain them. They are protected. The bud is still down deep inside of it, so we aren’t really worried about the cold conditions,” Nunnikhoven said.

Tulips begin to sprout once the temperature hits 60 degrees. People will begin to see flowers on the plant once the temperature hits about 68 degrees.

Pella Historical Society Director Valerie Van Kooten said thousands of volunteers help put Tulip Time together.

“Pretty much everyone in Pella is involved in one way shape or form, and it takes that many people to pull a festival like this together,” Van Kooten said.

Tulip Time Committee Chair Member Paul Jones said due to high traffic in 2017 additional parking will be added for the festival this year.

“Last year, we had what we estimated to be a record breaking crowd, 190,000-200,000 people in that range. It created some real congestion of parking,” Jones said.

People will be able to park at Pella Christian High School for $8.00 or off of exit 40 on the west side of Pella.

In addition to added parking, people can see four legged friends in the parade.

“We are going to have owners with their dogs in Dutch costumes. They are going to be bringing up the tail end of the parade,” Van Kooten said.

Tulip Time is scheduled for May 3rd, 4th and 5th.

To view the tulips progress across the town click here.