Not Your Grandma’s Festival

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I admit it. I love Tulip Time. And I’m a little shocked when local people say they’ve never been, or that they haven’t been since they were seven years old and went with their grandparents. WHAT? I just don’t understand. This isn’t your grandma’s festival anymore.

I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want to come to the beautiful lakeshore and our really cool downtown (yes, I’m a little biased here) and see all that Holland and Tulip Time have to offer. There is something for every age group. If you love arts, culture, entertainment, parades, music, history, food (elephant ears and pigs in a blanket), carnival rides, cocktails, tulips and smiling faces, then you should come visit Tulip Time, May 3 through 10, 2014.

Here are a mere few of my favorite Tulip Time things to do:


Entertainment: With acts including Bill Cosby, Second City Comedy, and the Glee-meets-Stomp group Vocal Trash, this year’s entertainment promises to deliver. Local events are plentiful and multiple events take place every evening. (There are even some during the day!)

Parades: There are three parades to enjoy, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. I always smile and cheer when I hear the Holland High School marching band come down the road playing “Tip Toe Through the Tulips” as they march in wooden shoes.


Dutch Dancers: Speaking of wooden shoes, one of my favorite sights is watching one thousand local people dressed in authentic costumes (inspected for authenticity) and wooden shoes, Klompen dancing—in sequence—on the streets. Their synchronicity rivals the Rockettes. 

Food and Beverages: Whether you want to hit the junk food trucks or Marktplaats for authentic Dutch food, you’re in for a real treat. One of my favorites is grabbing a seat at Our Brewing Company or the Curragh’s outdoor patio to watch the Klompen dancers while I enjoy a craft beer. This year, I’m going to try the new official spirit, Tulip Thyme cocktail.


Tulips: More than six million—yes, you read that right, SIX MILLION—tulips will bloom all over town. The best spots to see them are at Veldheer’s Tulip Gardens, Windmill Gardens, and on a walk through downtown to Centennial Park. And yes, we will have tulips this year!

But, wait! There’s more! Still not convinced Tulip Time is for you? We want you to give it a try, so we’re giving away some cool prize packages over the next few weeks. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter for your chance to win!

Do you already love and adore Tulip Time? Leave a comment and tell us about a few of your favorite things. Help spread the word about the awesomeness that is one of the Top 20 events in the world!

Written by: Jennifer Reeves is West Michigan Woman’s media sales director. She is also the unofficial ambassador for Tulip Time and Holland, owner of blue wooden shoes, and a wannabe Dutch dancer.

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