Although we are still processing the news of today that the 91st Tulip Time Festival here in Holland, Michigan has been canceled and what that will mean for us, we'd like to offer some early observations for thought:
1. We knew 'the news' would get worse before it gets better. This is about as bad as it gets, so maybe now it can start getting better?
2. The tulips will still bloom. Now this year whenever they bloom, it will be tulip time. No capital T's, but at least we don't have to worry about a stem fest after such a mild winter. By then maybe things will have progressed to a better place and people will be getting out and about and will stop in to see them.
3. We're in an OK place. Not a great place or a good place, but being a small family business means we are nimble and have great family support under us. However, we will need some help, time, and understanding from all of our business partners since we are losing a big chunk of our annual revenue. The idea to replace our lost revenue with additional debt isn't a good one.
4. After surviving 2012, which included a Stem Fest, a summer heat wave, and a highway closure, we knew we needed to be a place that people really need in their lives. So we worked diligently to become a place to 'Make Family Memories' and be the friendliest theme park for families with young children and family groups of three generations. Hopefully when things get to whatever the 'new normal' is going to be, we can once again delight our guests, from near and from far, and the dollars will take care of themselves.
This is an extraordinary time. It will require extraordinary effort from everyone. We hope and pray for good outcomes to everyone's situation and we will update as more is revealed to us.
President, Nelis' Dutch Village
Tulip Time 2019 was the 90th anniversary of the festival and it was incredible. Make your plans now to visit Nelis' Dutch Village and Holland, Michigan for Tulip Time for next year's Tulip Time May 2-10, 2020. Below is some great information from the 2019 festival to help you plan your 2020 visit.
For 91 years, the Tulip Time festival in Holland, Michigan has attracted guests from around the world for fun and flowers. Nelis' Dutch Village and the Nelis family farm before it has been proud to be a part of the festival since the very beginning.
Tulips came to Holland, Michigan with Dutch settlers. In 1927, a biology teacher for Holland High School recommended a day festival at a Woman's Literary Club meeting. The idea caught on and the city sold bulbs for a penny to residents in 1928, resulting in the first Tulip Time event in 1929.
Many people come to Dutch Village expecting to see tulips year round, but tulips are spring-blooming perennials that grow from bulbs. Tulips originated in the Ottoman Empire (today's Turkey) and made it to the Netherlands in the 16th century via Dutch traders.
The blooms became so popular, that bulb theft and garden raids were a common occurrence. In the mid-1600s, there was an economic bubble known as "Tulip Mania" which rivaled the tech market crash or real estate crash of recent history.
We plant over 35,000 bulbs for Tulip Time each year with over 100 varieties of tulips. Tulips are planted throughout the park.
While you can see many of our beautiful tulips from outside the park, for a truly incredible experience you'll want to step back in time and into the park.
During Tulip Time, Dutch Village is open extra hours to accommodate extra visitors. Come early and stay late during this fabulous week.
The 2020 Festival is May 2-10. It begins on Saturday May 2 and runs through Sunday May 10.
Tulip Time has great activities throughout the period, but the larger events like parades happen Wednesday through Saturday (May 6-9). Most of the larger events are clustered on the final weekend.
If you want to view the tulips and avoid larger crowds, you might want to visit the first weekend or Monday and Tuesday. During these off times, you'll be able to visit the tulips throughout town easily.
One of the best place to see tulips is right here at Dutch Village. But, we understand you might want to sample some of the other tulip displays around town.
Unlike other festivals, Tulip Time happens all around Holland, Michigan, not just at a fair park or downtown. There are six miles of Tulip lanes that line Holland's streets. You'll find several places to view the flowers that are magical.
Windmill Island Gardens, Riverview Park and Kollen Park offer spectacular tulip displays during Tulip Time. These larger parks have massive displays and don't get quite as crowded as the Tulip Lane downtown or Centennial Park.
Veldheer's Tulip Farm, located north of Nelis' Dutch Village on US-31, is another tulip highlight.
Parking for any festival is difficult. Holland's downtown is a great space to walk, so we recommend parking outside of downtown and taking a refreshing walk into the tulips. This year, there will be a shuttle leaving from the Dutch Village parking lot available from 10am to 6pm every day of the festival. You can park in our parking lot and have buses take you to all the festival highlights and locations. The shuttle is only $5 per person for the entire festival. Save time and stress and park at Dutch Village.
Tulip Time® is a registered trademark of Holland Tulip Time Festival, Inc.
You can order quality tulip bulbs directly from our garden center. Our bulbs come from Holland and will be delivered next Fall just in time for planting for Spring 2021 blooms.2020 Bulb Order Form
Want a memory of the tulips that will last? Grab a bunch of our popular 14-inch wooden painted tulips in a variety of colors.order online
While it is impossible to predict the weather, there are typically tulips in bloom from the last week in April through the third week in May.
They are available in our gift shops usually from July until December. You may also pre-order from our guide above.
Tulips should be planted in the fall before the ground freezes.
Yes, they should be refrigerated prior to planting for 6-8 weeks.