Behind-the-Scenes of Tulip Time in Holland

From May 7-14, more than 500,000 people from around the world will travel to Holland, Michigan to experience the 2016 Tulip Time Festival. The festival features Dutch dance performances, concerts, theatre, food, parades and more – all of which take a lot of time and dedication to produce by the staff and a team of more than 800 volunteers.

Gwen Auwerda, Executive Director of the festival, gives us a sneak peek at what goes into the making of Tulip Time. 

In Holland, Michigan, we’ve had a cool spring and the tulips love it! The town is being spruced up from a long winter and the Tulip Time Festival staff and interns are busy with the finishing touches on all the great events, entertainment and parades.

Here are just some of the many things that happen behind-the-scenes in Holland as we prepare for the festival.

Prepping Pigs-in-a-Blanket

500 dozen pigs-in-a-blanket – a traditional Dutch food – were made by a group of volunteers from area churches.  “Pigs” as we call them are a sausage roll covered with pastry dough and served to thousands of visitors at Dutch Marktplaats along with the largest selection of traditional Dutch food in the City of Holland.  This is quite a time honored tradition for the churches.

Marching Band Practice

All of the bands are practicing their marching skills for the Saturday GMB Muziekparade, the longest parade in Michigan at 2.4 miles. This year, May 14th is the day of the GMB Muziekparade. The parade will feature over 4,000 participants.

Dutch Dance Rehearsals

Dutch Dance is another signature event during the festival.  The dancers typically learn the dance in high school and can continue dancing as an “alumni dancer” after graduation.  This year, we have 800 dancers who wear clothing representing the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Practices begin in January and the dancers spend 30 hours over the next 4 months learning the dance. This event is a visitor favorite and free!

We couldn’t put together an internationally known flower festival without our beloved volunteers.  It takes over 800 volunteers over an 8 day period to help with trash pickup, ushering at the shows, set-up, deliver potted tulips to the venues around the city, assist with the Tulip Time run, and the three parades.  It is because of the dedication of these volunteers that our city can host over 500,000 guests to Join the Dance!  We hope to see you in beautiful Holland for the 87th Tulip Time Festival.

Gwen Auwerda is the Executive Director of the Tulip Time Festival in Holland.

Are you heading to Tulip Time this year? Share with us below!

The Magical History Tour Has Arrived at Henry Ford Museum

If you missed it in 1964, here’s your second chance.

The Beatles changed pop culture and the world of music forever. Were you an original Beatlemaniac? Or are you simply inspired by their music today? Either way, you’ll have the chance to experience the creativity, love and curiosity of the Fab Four firsthand as The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition, presented by Meijer, makes its U.S. premiere at The Henry Ford. Don’t miss the most comprehensive Beatles exhibition ever assembled, featuring instruments, clothing, rare original photos and many never-before-displayed artifacts!

Photo Courtesy of The Henry Ford

Follow the Beatles’ iconic story from the very beginning, through the throes of Beatlemania, to the years of experimentation and dissention, and finally to their far-reaching inspiration today. This amazing story is told from the perspective of the Beatles, and visitors will experience pivotal points in their lives through this exhibition.

Your experience to The Magical History Tour includes:

  • Instruments, equipment and other personal belongings, including the original Quarrymen drum kit.
  • Letters, memos and pivotal documentation of the Beatles’ career, including the official “break-up letter” typed by John to Paul’s lawyer and signed by John, George and Ringo.
  • Rare photographs from the Beatles’ touring years, including many that have never before been seen.
  • A vast collection of Beatles merchandise and memorabilia, including the album signed by John Lennon to his eventual killer hours before his death.
  • Variety named the Beatles the Icons of the 20th Century. Experience why in this immersive, educational and fun exhibit — only at The Henry Ford.

The Magical History Tour takes over Henry Ford Museum April 30 through Sept. 18, 2016. Admission for members of The Henry Ford is $5; nonmember admission (including a ticket to Henry Ford Museum) is $26 for adults, $24 for seniors, and $20.75 for children ages 5-12.

Photo Courtesy of The Henry Ford

 

What is your favorite Beatles memory? Share with us by commenting below!

Lish Dorset

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition is not endorsed by, sponsored by, associated with, or otherwise affiliated with The Beatles, Apple Corps Ltd., or any member of The Beatles or their representatives.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Exhibits Development Group, exhibition producer, manager, and distributor; and PMA Collective, co-producer and memorabilia collection owners. The culmination of the world-class talent brought to the table by each party ensures that this is an undertaking of the highest quality, from the memorabilia to design to production.

4 Southwest Michigan Golf Courses to Explore this Summer

Warm weather has finally arrived in Michigan, and with it, another inviting season of golf. If you’re looking to knock the dust off your favorite clubs, or are just looking to hit the links for the first time, here are four Southwest Michigan courses to try this summer:

1. Island Hills Golf Club – Centreville, MI

Island Hills is a gorgeous 18-hole course located on one of the largest lakes in Michigan, Lake Templene. Each hole is very different with some being in hardwood forests and others being in meadow prairies with a lake view. Want to “Play and Stay?” Island Hills has beautiful onsite villas for you to rest your head after playing the links.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

2. Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort – Augusta, MI

Gull Lake View is made up of 5 courses: Gull Lake View East, Gull Lake View West, Bedford Valley, Stonehedge South, and Stonehedge North. All are 18-hole championship golf courses and are ranked 4.5 stars or higher by Golf Digest. Each course has its unique set of challenges like hills, bunkers, water holes (East has 10), huge greens and forested holes. At Gull Lake View you can also “Play and Stay” in their onsite villas.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

 3. Binder Park Golf Club – Battle Creek, MI

Binder Park Golf Club is made up of 27-holes with 3 distinctive 9-hole tracks. The course is right next to Binder Park Zoo and you can even see parts of the zoo while you golf on certain holes. It is a great, user-friendly course for beginners and a challenging one for experience golfers.  Close to downtown Battle Creek and FireKeeper’s Casino, there is a lot to do when you are done golfing.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

4. The Medalist Golf Club – Marshall, MI

Golfing at the Medalist is like playing on a course in Northern Michigan. This premier championship golf course has hosted multiple statewide championships and U.S. Amateur qualifiers. It is close to FireKeepers Casino and Hotel so you can golf during the day and get your Vegas on at night.

Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Want to try these courses but do not know the next step? The program, Michigan Southern Swing, will book your tee times for you along with your lodging. Call 1-877-MI-SWING or go to www.misouthernswing.com to get your FREE quote.  

BeccaF

Becca Freybler is the Digital Media Marketing Manager for the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau, handling all of their digital platforms.  She has worked for the CVB since 2010. Becca is a Michigan State University graduate and a lifelong Battle Creek resident. Outside of work she enjoys sports, cooking, being outdoors, and owns a Collie named Simba.