I had a lovely time at the 2012 Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa! It was colorful, festive, happy, and well organized, and I got to spend relaxing time with family. The weather was mostly beautiful, though occasionally windy and warm. The rain held back until most of the events were over. Although early spring temperatures brought the tulips to their peak a month before the festival, the few that hung on through festival weekend got lots of attention from our cameras. In addition to Dutch dancing, parades, and singing, there was much to learn about local and Dutch history. Quilts, flower arrangements, and a musical also sought our attention.
Having never attended a Tulip Festival until this year, it’s hard for me to say how much it has changed over the years, but I hear that it has. Apparently it has both grown in size and sharpened its focus on specific Dutch traditions. At the same time, at one end of downtown it now offers carnival rides and food stands in addition to traditional Dutch fare. I think it is a wonderful event and hope that it never loses what makes it unique.