PELLA, Iowa — Most people think of Pella when its tulips are in bloom, but a group of visitors also make the trek to town during the Christmas season.
“A lot of people talk about Pella being a little bit of a Norman Rockwell feeling at Christmas,” said Jill Vandevoort of the Pella Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’re a small community. We care about each other and we care about celebrating Christmas. We want to bring that joy to other people, too, when they come in to our community as well.”
This weekend the annual Christmas Tour of Homes is underway. This event brings people from all over Iowa and surrounding states. It often draws 2,500 to 3,000 each year.
“I am a local and I go to the house tour almost every year just because they’re such a nice variety of houses,” said Pella resident Sherril Graham. “They have different themes in each house so you get a really good perspective of peoples' interest.”
The Pella Opera House is a stop on the tour and is home to the Festival of Trees.
“It's a three-day event. The second day we have been hosting a number of people here for refreshments at the Opera House. We also have lots of discounts going on the retailers downtown,” said Vandevooert. “Tonight we'll have the event over at the Pella Historical Village the Christmas Walk.”
“We have a Historical Village of 22 historic buildings. They’re all decorated for Christmas right now,” said Valerie Van Kooten of the Pella Historical Village. “We have everything from a log cabin that what our ancestors came and lived in to the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp, which is currently in the restoration.”
The town will host its annual Sinterklaas Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m.
If you’d like to know more about visiting Pella, click here.