HOLLAND — In light of recent orders from the state health department allowing larger indoor and outdoor gatherings, Tulip Time has announced several events that were previously on hold are now on tap for this year, including the carnival and the Dutch Marketplace.
In previous announcements about this year’s festival, Tulip Time’s organizers had said there would be no carnival, and the fate of the Dutch Marketplace and Dutch Dance Costume Exhibit inside Holland Civic Center Place had been up in the air.
“We were very excited to see the guidance change a bit earlier in the month,” said Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda. “We’re really excited to be able to offer more festivities than we had initially thought we would be able to.”
After the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced relaxed indoor and outdoor gathering rules on March 2, Auwerda said the organization got to work planning events “that would normally take us 8-9 months to plan, and we did it in under a month.”
The current state public health orders allow up to 1,000 people to gather in outdoor entertainment and recreation venues, as long as people are masked and maintaining 6-foot distance between households. Indoor entertainment or recreation venues can allow up 300 people, or up to 50 percent of the venue’s capacity, whichever is the smaller number.
Under these new rules, Tulip Time organizers decided to bring back the Tulip Time Carnival Midway, which will be located in the north lot at the Civic Center.
“While the Midway has been scaled down a bit to allow for adjusted capacity and safe social distancing, all the crowd favorites will still be there,” reads the announcement from Tulip Time.
The Carnival Midway will open April 30.
Skerbeck Entertainment Group, which runs the carnival, will limit capacity and space attractions farther apart, according to a news release, and guests and staff will be required to wear masks. Visitors will be able to buy a limited number of wristbands online ahead of the carnival’s opening to secure their entry and skip the queue.
Holland Civic Center Place will host the Dutch Marketplace and exhibits featuring the handmade Dutch costumes worn by Dutch Dancers during Tulip Times past, other dance artifacts and an exhibit featuring Tulip Time posters over the years. The market will feature tulip bulbs, Dutch-inspired goods and Tulip Time merchandise.
The exhibits and marketplace will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 1, through Saturday, May 8. Timed tickets, which cost $8, are required to enter and are available online at tuliptime.com for advance purchase.
New events announced this week include Tulip Time painting classes with local artist Carolyn Stich and “VIP” walking tours of the city, ending in a special wine and charcuterie reception at Market Zero with Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks. Eight time slots for VIP tours are available.
Auwerda strongly encourages local residents and visitors who want to take part in any of the ticketed events, such as the walking tours and classes, to reserve their tickets early.
“A few things have sold out already,” she said, “including the floral arranging class and some of the walking tours.”
The prefestival tulip sale has begun, Auwerda said. Tulip pots – 10-inch pots containing 10 bulbs – are on sale now through April 14 and can be ordered online.
Other Tulip Time events still on for 2021:
• The Tulip Time Run will take place virtually. Participants will receive a bib and medal, and can also purchase a shirt or hoodie.
• Annual Quilt Raffle: Tickets are available April 15 through May 9. The drawing will take place May 10.
• Tulip Time Scavenger Hunt: Pick up a flier at the Tulip Time Office, Holland Visitors Bureau and information booths, or download a copy at tuliptime.com/scavenger-hunt.
• Virtual Artisan Market: Saturday, April 24, through Sunday, May 9, shop the Virtual Artisan Market online for handcrafted, original pieces including paintings, art glass, pottery and metal sculpture.
• Yoga in the Tulips will be offered at Window on the Waterfront. Tickets are required.