HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - As a boy, Rick Snyder marched in the Tulip Time parade as a high school band member. This year, the governor returned to the festival as the keynote speaker at the annual luncheon, and then helped sweep the streets.
The governor's speech began at 11 a.m. at the DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland, followed by the luncheon.
Snyder took his second visit to Tulip Time as an opportunity to talk about what he says is an improving economic outlook in the state.
Before the speech, Snyder spoke with 24 Hour News 8 about about the unusually warm March weather that caused tulips to bloom early and wiped out much of the state's multi-million dollar fruit crop as it pertains to the larger issue of one of the state's "big three" industries, as he calls them.
He said agriculture is part of an improving economic environment.
"Agriculture was strong over the last decade and has a very bright future," Snyder told 24 Hour News 8. "We've had some weather challenges this year. We'll bounce back from that. We're going to work on that. But the long-term future is very bright for exporting out of Michigan. We're the second most diverse state in the nation, so great outlook there."
During his speech preceding the luncheon, Snyder said employment, income and other factors are on the upswing and are improving the way state residents feel about Michigan.
"When you look at the polling from 2009-2010, when they asked Michiganders, the answer came back that Michiganders believed their best days were behind them -- that our best days were in the past," Snyder said. "Now the recent results are good. We now have more Michiganders believing there's a bright future ahead."
Manufacturing and tourism make up the other two of the "big three," according to Snyder. He said all of those industries are contributing to what he sees as an economic comeback in the state unrivaled around the country.
After the lunch speech, Snyder continued another tradition of the festival as he and other elected officials took part in the annual cleaning of the streets.
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