A Time for 'Happy Tulips'

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While 2020 was a bust with lockdowns, closed businesses and cancelled events due to the aggressive onset of COVID-19, the Tulip Time Quilt Show Committee in Holland have used their creative talents to create a special keepsake to benefit the annual Tulip Time celebration, taking place this year from May 1-9.

Every year, the festival raffles off a distinctly unique handmade quilt, with proceeds benefitting a different nonprofit. This year, due to the hardships of 2020, the committee wanted the proceeds to benefit the Tulip Time festival itself.

The stunning 2021 Raffle Quilt, "Happy Tulips" was designed and constructed by Colleen Dekker and Cheryl Zylman, who are both members of the Tulip Time Quilt Show Committee. With "Happy Tulips," this designing duo has created yet another bright, whimsical, custom quilt, that can't help but make those who view it smile and think of better days. The quilt's saturated colors pop on the white-on-white dotted field, with a dot theme that continues in the quilt's black and white vases. The patterns is expressed once again on the backing fabric, which also serves as the binding.

Dekker designed the quilt using a process she describes as "working from the outside in," as she created the nine-square pattern in varying sizes. Zylman beautifully expressed the art of applique in the design and creation of the tulips. Each vase holds a unique blend of tulips of varying arrangements.


"Happy Tulips" will be on display in the window of the Apothecary Gift Shop in Holland from May 1 – 9. The raffle will run from April 15 through May 9, with the drawing taking place on May 10. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the Tulip Time Office, Apothecary Gift Shop, and the Holland Visitors Bureau. You need not be present to win.

In addition to the 2021 Quilt Raffle, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Tulip Time with a Twist this year.

  • The Tulip Time Run will now take place virtually. Run or walk, anytime or anywhere! Registrants will receive a participant bib and medal. Run shirts and hoodies are also available.
  • The Michigan Maritime Museum returns with dockside tours of their tall ship Friends Good Will. The ship will sail into town and dock on the north wall of Boatwerks Restaurant. Reservation and ticket information will be available soon from the Museum.
  • Yoga in the Tulips will be offered again amidst the tulip gardens at Window on the Waterfront. This is a ticketed event.
  • Each year hundreds of talented artisans display their unique wares at the Artisan Market. This year, the market is going virtual and the shopping experience expanded to April 24 through May 9.
  • A final determination from the State of Michigan Health Department on whether the Dutch Marktplaats and Dutch Dance Costume Exhibit can take place is still pending.

Of course, thousands of tulips have been planted in city parks, at Windmill Island Gardens, and along miles of Tulip Lanes. Visitors can still enjoy their splendor as they bathe Holland in color.

Tulip Time says it will continue to follow the recommendations and directives of the CDC, the State of Michigan and the local health department, and will adapt their plans accordingly. Full, up-to-date details on all of these happenings, including on-sale dates for ticketed events, will be available at Tulip Time.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.

Photo courtesy of Tulip Time.


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