Mom … and my first-ever visit to Tulip Festival

In honor of Mother’s Day, which is just before my upcoming visit to my mother’s hometown, I decided to write about … Mom and her hometown. I’m headed up to Orange City, Iowa, in a few days to partake of the festivities at the annual Tulip Festival … and with any luck, to take some good photos. The festival is one way the town celebrates its Dutch heritage.

Tulip Festival is now more than 70 years old, but I’ve never been before. So now I find myself with a chance to go, and I’m taking it. After a Mother’s Day weekend in Texas with Mom, I’ll join my aunt and my cousin in Iowa for a day of festivaling next week. Obviously, it would be better if circumstances allowed my mother to join us … perhaps another year. Yes, another year, for sure. I’ve been looking through a few of Mother’s photos from the ’40s and ’50s to get in the Tulip Festival spirit. She says the Dutch dancers used to go to nearby towns before the festival to dance and publicize the event. By more recent counts, Orange City gets about 100,000 visitors during festival weekend. That’s many times the size of the town.

Alas, it seems early spring temperatures summoned the Iowa tulips to bloom in April, rather than May this year. Same thing happened in Pella. I am not deterred, though. Mother tells me this sometimes happens – Tulip Festival with no tulips. And still … I will see a parade. I will see Dutch costumes and taste almond pastry. I might watch a wooden shoe being made. I’ll stroll past Dutch store fronts, maybe eye blue Delft pottery. I’ll see the neighborhoods and town center, remembering childhood summer visits. Summoning courage, I might try the sour cream raisin pie. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll see a tardy tulip. And I will see family … and I will think about Mom and experience the place — unique, imperfect, and wonderful — that helped shape her into the person of grace she still is today. Love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day …

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8 Responses to Mom … and my first-ever visit to Tulip Festival

  1. Sheryl says:

    I visited the Pella Tulip festival a few years ago with some friends and had a wonderful time. Thanks for reminding me of it.

  2. ljhlaura says:

    Sheryl … wouldn’t mind seeing the Pella festival myself some time – glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by …

  3. JM Simpson says:

    Wow! I grew up near Marcus, Iowa, which is just south of Orange City. I used to have a pair of Dutch wooden clogs that were made right there. Enjoy! They just had a pretty nasty run-in with a tornado, so be safe!

  4. ljhlaura says:

    Wow, small world! 🙂 I heard about the tornado, and we had one night of storms, but otherwise, all was well. I enjoy that part of the country and had a great time… Thanks for stopping by …

  5. Donna Becker says:

    Welcome to Geneabloggers! This post caught my eye as I read through your writings. I’ve always wondered … don’t wooden shoes hurt? I’ve never had anyone to ask about that, so maybe you can answer the question for me! 🙂

    • ljhlaura says:

      Thank you so much for the kind welcome … And you ask a wonderful question! I, myself, have not spent a great deal of time in wooden shoes, though I did buy a pair at the Tulip Festival. 🙂 My mother, who has spent more time in them, tells me they wear multiple pairs of socks with them to make them more comfortable. What impresses me is that the local high school band marches in them!

      • Donna Becker says:

        MARCHES IN THEM???????
        I was in marching band for every year and those white saddlebuck shoes were bad enough! But wood shoes to march in? Lord, I hope they have plenty of blister protection. Makes my feet hurt just to think about it.

      • ljhlaura says:

        I agree! I marched as well … in comfortable shoes … and even that took its toll! 🙂

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