HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — If you were worried about the recent cold, rainy weather ruining the tulips at the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, fear not.
The rain is expected to move out this weekend, with sunny skies and warm temperatures for the week ahead. That’s good news for both the tulips and the tourists.
It’s also good news for Karl Grasmanis. He runs Bowerman Blueberry Farm’s new market on 8th Street.
“For a lot of businesses downtown here, they look forward to this week because it kind of sets them up for the rest of the season with the amount of people that come downtown,” Grasmanis said. “We’re kind of hoping for the same thing. We’re hoping for a great turnout being a new restaurant down here as well.”
Studies put the economic impact of the festival for Holland at $48 million.
“That’s what the restaurants, store owners, hotels, just the impact in this community over nine days, which is pretty phenomenal,” Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda said.
At the Ottawa County Fair Ground on Ottawa Beach Road, Ibo Gulsen’s Tulip Immersion Garden provides a history of the flower that made Tulip Time possible.
Canceled in 2020 and scaled back for 2021 because of the pandemic, Tulip Time is back to full strength this year, with parades, dancing and tulip gazing. Organizers have also added some new events in new location for Tulip Time’s 93rd year.
“From the botanical origins in the west of China on the border with Kazakhstan, to Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, from the 16th century when they arrived in the Netherlands and from the Netherlands it went all over the world, including Holland, Michigan,” Gulsen said.
Back in downtown Holland, the Zeeland Girl exhibit at the old Holland Armory on 9th Street has been added to the list of attractions. The photos by Dutch artist Rem van den Bosch combine young people dressed in traditional costumes with more progressive views woven throughout the photos.
“The project is about raising awareness, getting people together in a very positive way,” van den Bosch said.
With sunny skies and warm temperatures on the way, organizers are energized for the eight-day festival.
“We are coming back from COVID,” Auwerda said. “Challenging, for sure, to cancel (and) then have limited programing last year, but we’re really raring to go and excited about this year.”