Tulip Time Begins

The 2021 Tulip Time kicked off Saturday and continues through Sunday, May 9.

Tulip Time is back.

Holland’s festival celebrating its Dutch heritage began Saturday for its 91st year. Festivities conclude Sunday, May 9.

With the pandemic in its early stages, organizers decided it was best to postpone the 2020 celebration for a year.

This year, organizers have retooled Tulip Time into a scaled-down version. Sorry – no parades, no Dutch dancers, no Tulips & Juleps fundraiser. But, there are still plenty of events to enjoy.

So, what’s scheduled for the 2021 Tulip Time festival? Read on to find out.

COVID-19 guidelines

Tulip Time will follow guidelines established by the Ottawa County health department and are encouraging guests to do the same.

Masks or face shields are required of guests ages 2 years old and older. You are asked to maintain a 6-foot distance between you and other guests, and follow directional signage for indoor exhibits.

For ticketed events, Tulip Time is instituting a timed ticket policy, which will limit the number of guests for an event or exhibit.

Tickets may be purchased online as tickets will not be sold in-person to limit contact. When purchasing a ticket, select the desired date and arrival time. Admission to the event will only be for the time you’ve selected. You must arrive within 30 minutes of the arrival time on your ticket, or you will not be granted access outside of your time slot.

For more information, visit tuliptime.com.

Where to see tulips

Tulips are the main attractions of the nine-day festival, obviously.

Prime locations to see the multitude of colors include:

Window on the Waterfront

Windmill Island Gardens

Downtown Holland

Veldheer Tulip Gardens (there is an admission fee)

Centennial Park

Kollen Park

Tulip Lanes (best viewings along Van Raalte Avenue, between 10th and 28th streets; 28th Street, between Van Raalte Avenue and State Street; State Street, between 21st and 28th streets; and Central Avenue, between 10th and 21 streets.)

Carnival

The carnival began April 30 and runs until the festival’s end on May 9. Like Tulip Time, the carnival is scaled back to allow for adjusted capacity and social-distancing measures.

For more information or to purchase tickets and wristbands, visit tuliptime.com/events or skerbeck.com.

Princess Lida

Children can visit online with Princess Lida, watch an interactive video, listen to story time and other activities. Tickets are required to receive an access code to exclusive content and may be purchased on Tulip Time’s website.

Tall ship dockside tours

The tall ship Friends Good Will returns to Lake Macatawa for another Tulip Time. The Michigan Maritime Museum owns and operates the replica of a Great Lakes sloop from 1810.

Tours are available daily from Boatwerks North Dock during the festival’s run, except Tuesday. Tickets are $5. For more information, visit the Tulip Time web page.

Dutch costume exhibit, Dutch market

While Dutch dancers won’t be showcasing their skills on the streets of downtown Holland, you can glimpse their costumes as dancers model the outfits.

You can also check out the festival’s art history with the collection of Tulip Time posters through the years. Browse displays from local museums and shop Tulip Time merchandise and Dutch-inspired items.

The exhibits and market are open at the Civic Center. Tickets are $8 and available at the Tulip Time website.

Yoga in the Tulips

Yoga in the Tulips is back for another year. How popular is it? The three sessions at Window on the Waterfront are already sold out.

Walking tours

The festival offers two versions of its walking tours of the tulip fields at Window on the Waterfront, 110 Columbia Ave.

A two-hour, 2-mile version features a costumed guide sharing the history of the festival and provides close-up viewings of the tulips.

A one-hour VIP tour features Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks as host, discussing the festival and city. Plus, you’ll enjoy some wine tasting with a charcuterie board and dessert.

Photo Walk

Photographers of any skill level can get personalized tips from two professionals, Kathy Odiorne and Heidi Quellet. The best part? You’ll practice your skills at one of the most gorgeous spots for Tulip Time, Windmill Island.

There are five sessions available, so check tuliptime.com for the schedule or to purchase tickets, which are $35 per person. Photographers must use their own gear.

Parking

There are public and private lots available across downtown Holland. Public lots are free, and private lots will likely charge a fee.

Food

Food trucks and concession stands are throughout downtown Holland, but the primary spot will be at the Civic Center.

Customers can enjoy snacks while sitting in specified eating areas. Each table is limited to six people. Hand-washing stations will be available and eating areas will be continuously cleaned throughout the day.

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