Yellow and red tulips line tulip lanes.
Photo courtesy of Mary Hilldore
Tulip Time Festival
More than 500,000 people from 40 countries travel to the Holland Tulip Time Festival each year. The beautiful beach town of Holland has been celebrating its Dutch heritage and culture since 1929 and the festivities continue this year. From May 4-11 the Tulip Time Festival will feature activities for everyone, including parades, traditional Dutch Dance performances, concerts, theatre, Dutch attractions, Dutch food and more.
During your visit at the Tulip Time Festival, see more than six million tulips decorating city parks, public attractions and city streets. For more of nature’s beauty, explore Windmill Island Gardens, home to manicured gardens with more than 150,000 tulips, a 250 year-old working Dutch windmill and an antique Dutch carousel. For a more adventurous day, take your family to the Meijer Midway Carnival, or have a blast at the Nelis’ Dutch Village Family Theme Park, where the history of the Dutch culture comes to life. Continue to experience Dutch heritage first hand May 7-11 at Dutch Marktplaats, where you can delight in the tastes, sights, sounds and crafts of 19th century Holland.
The Tulip Time Festival features three spectacular parades. On Wednesday, May 8, see the traditional Volksparade, led by local and state dignitaries and thousands of locals in traditional Dutch costumes. The Kinderparade, or “children’s parade,” will be held Thursday, May 9, and is the largest parade of children in the state. The parade series will end with Muziekparade, the music parade, on Saturday, May 11, one of the most spectacular parades in the state each year, featuring 4,000 participants and floats, dancers, and bands.
The Tulip Time festival is always growing and creating new traditions to celebrate the tulip and the Dutch culture. New and special events for this year: Tulip City tours will now be offered throughout the festival. The hop-on, hop-off tour allows easy access through beautiful Tulip Lanes, Holland’s Historic District, city parks and downtown. Tickets are available at Centennial Park.
If you’re looking for more hands-on activities, sign up for a modern delftware art class or make your own floral masterpiece. Get you competitive juices flowing and participate in the Queen’s Day Criterium. Held April 30 in honor of the Netherlands Queen Beatrix, this cycling event features a flat, fast scenic course for participants. Or wear your orange and cheer participants as they race through downtown. There will be different heats for all ages and groups.
While you’re visiting Holland for the Tulip Time Festival, relax on the beautiful Lake Michigan. Relax in the warm sand, play in the sparkling blue water or walk the two miles along the water’s edge between Holland State Park and Tunnel Park. For a little more adventure, climb the 230 steps to the top of Mt. Pisgah, a 157 foot sand dune. Here, enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa or watch a stunning sunset.
Downtown Holland and Southshore Village are great destinations for unique, first-class shopping and dining. For dining alongside the water, choose Boatwerks. If you’re craving authentic Dutch food during your stay, try DeBoer’s Dutch Brothers Café or Bakkerij. For more Dutch food, unique shopping and beautiful flowers during the Tulip Time Festival, visit Nelis’ Dutch Village. To find out about other fun and unique Holland experiences, click here.
While you’re visiting Holland celebrating, be sure to take the time to explore the rest of the community. For Holland travel help and suggestions, click here.
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