HOLLAND — The 91st Tulip Time festival scheduled for early May has been canceled due to public health concerns over the novel coronavirus.
The iconic festival, which brings to Holland more than 500,000 attendees from all over the world, was set to run from May 2-10. The event will not be rescheduled.
“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we share this news,” Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda said. “Our team has spent the last 11 months planning our 91st celebration and we are heartbroken not to see our work come into fruition.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly unfolded in Michigan, with the state cases going from zero to 53 in less than a week. Since then, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order banning public events of more than 250 people until early April. All bars, restaurants and retail stores other than grocery stores are also closed in the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend that events of more than 50 people should be canceled for the next eight weeks. Tulip Time was set to kick off in six weeks.
Auwerda said the decision to cancel the 2020 festival was not taken lightly.
“We understand the huge financial impact the festival brings not only to our organization, but to small businesses, hotels and local attractions every year,” she said.
The festival has a $48 million economic impact on the Holland community, according to event organizers.