It’s the time of year when you will find us, the citizens of Orange City, taking out our wooden shoes, checking our flowerbeds to monitor tulip growth and diligently preparing final details in preparation for our annual Tulip Festival.
Our Tulip Festival, held each third weekend in May, is a celebration of our Dutch heritage. It’s a way of preserving our heritage as a community, while taking the opportunity to share our love of it with thousands of visitors who come for the event each year.
Upon arrival to the festival, you’ll find children and adults dressed in intricate, authentic Dutch costumes and participating in a variety of festivities. Each afternoon begins with traditional Dutch dancing by youngsters and adults, followed by a colorful display of the costumes in the Mode Show, and a crowd-favorite: street scrubbing.
Carrying on a Dutch tradition, our street inspectors, made up of councilmen and our Town Crier, check the streets for cleanliness in anticipation of the Tulip Queen’s arrival. Boys and men throw buckets of water on the streets (and each other) while girls and ladies follow with brooms, ensuring that the streets are spotless for our Queen and her Court.
Our renowned Volksparades follow the street scrubbing. The parades, which begin at 2:15 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily, consist of top-area marching bands, one-of-a-kind floats featuring Dutch replica windmills and landmarks, and people of all ages dressed in traditional costumes.
While you’re here, be sure to take time to check out many of our other attractions, including life-size windmills, our musical Night Show, Dutch Dozen performance, Quilt Show, Flower Show & Sioux County Heritage Center, and Century Home, just to name a few.
We have a variety of Dutch delicacies for you to indulge yourself in when you have a food craving, and, of course, we have countless beds of colorful, triumphant tulips that you’ll want to take time to enjoy.
Tulip Festival is a beloved event in our community, and we’d love for you to join us as we celebrate our roots and look forward to our future with great anticipation. This year’s festival, our 74th annual event, is happening on May 15, 16 and 17.
You can find a complete listing of the Tulip Festival events, times, and details on our website at www.octulipfestival.com.
We’ll be delighted to extend A Dutch Welkom to each of you when you visit! Breng ons een bezoek!
Juliana Pennings, Tulip Festival and Community Tourism Director, Orange City, IA