Showers and an isolated thundershower for tonight, tomorrow and Thursday. We could easily see over an inch of rain. After that the sunshine returns and the weather should be good for the official start of Tulip Time this coming weekend.
Saturday, look for high temperatures in the upper 50s in Holland (low 50s at Lake Michigan). Winds should be light and mainly from the north, swinging around to the west-northwest off the lake during the midday and afternoon. Look for partly sunny skies on Sunday with highs in the low 60s in Holland.
This picture is from Windmill Island Tuesday. You can see DeZwann (“the swan”), the authentic Dutch windmill. This windmill was constructed in The Netherlands in 1761, so it’s 258 years old. It was brought to Holland, Michigan in 1964. The five-story windmill is 125 feet high and the sails are 40-feet long. There are 100,000 tulips planted at Windmill Island and you can see kind of a small version of the Mackinac Bridge and authentic Dutch buildings.
The idea for Tulip Time came from Lida Rogers, a biology teacher at Holland High School. In 1928, the city purchased 100,000 tulips and sold them to residents for a penny apiece. Those tulips bloomed in 1929 and in the early 1930s, Tulip Time in early May was an annual event, with thousands of visitors coming to see the city’s tulips. By the mid-1930s, Tulip Time in Holland was a nationally-known event that lasted 9 days.
Traditionally, there are 3 parades, all occurring at 2 pm. On Wednesday is the Volksparade (or people’s parade). Thursday is the Children’s Parade and Saturday is the big Musiekparade. That parade lasts 2 hours and is known for the many school bands and colorful floats. Former WOOD-TV employee and ABC (WOTV4) Meteorologist Ginger Zee will be this year’s Grand Marshal. I’ll be walking in the parade along with the WOOD news anchors, so wave and say “hi” when we pass by. The first year I was in the Musiekparade was 1975 and I’ve either been in it or I’ve done the live broadcast pretty much every year since. I don’t remember a Tulip Parade with snow…but I do remember heat, cold, wind and rain during he parade.