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Volksparade takes over Holland's downtown

Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • May 10, 2018 at 8:00 AM

HOLLAND — Despite mid-morning rains, the first of three Tulip Time parades drew large crowds to downtown Holland on Wednesday, May 9.

The Volksparade, also known as the people’s parade, is followed by the Kinderparade on Thursday and the Muziekparade on Saturday.

To kick off the parade, Holland town crier John Karsten declared the streets of Holland too dirty for guests, setting off a slew of street scrubbers dressed in Dutch garb. Children, families and several generations of street scrubbers took to the streets with buckets and brooms to make sure the city was up to par for the estimated 500,000 Tulip Time guests Holland hosts throughout the week.

Along the parade route, onlookers waved at notable participants including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Holland City Council members, Tulip Time organizers, grand marshal Don Komejan and six gleaming Clydesdale horses.

Volksparade takes over downtown Holland

“It’s been a while since I’ve been to this parade, and it’s so cool to see the street scrubbers and the town crier,” said Holland resident Greg Mulder. “It’s all for the kids and we’re out here to enjoy the festivities.”

Mulder brought his six children with him to see the Volksparade, all decked out in Dutch costume.

“The kids get so excited about the Dutch dancers,” he said. “I’m sure one or two of them will end up being a Dutch dancer in the future.”

Along with parade floats from area businesses, the hour-long parade featured 19 marching bands. Bringing up the tail end of the parade was an annual crowd favorite, Dutch dogs.

Dog owners from across Michigan brought their dogs, dressed in Dutch costumes, to the parade to show off their four-legged friends. This year, it was free for Dutch dogs and their human families to participate in the parade, bringing dozens of dogs to downtown Holland.

Catherine Behringer, who works at Decadent Dogs in Holland, brought her two dogs Nate and Milton to participate in the parade. Behringer hand-made costumes for her dogs out of old Dutch costumes she found that were missing many of their parts. Now, Nate and Milton wear their repurposed costumes to show off Dutch spirit.

“We love all things dog,” Behringer said. “I just think it’s fantastic because they make the world happier. It’s a great way to recycle old Dutch dance costumes, too.”

Those wishing to view the Kinderparade can make their way to Eighth Street at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 10. If the parade is canceled due to weather, the parade will take place at the same time on Friday, May 11. The Muziekparade will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.

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