The annual Tulip Time Festival begins this Saturday in Holland. If you have never been to this festival, be sure to carve out some time on your calendar. There are so many events that there’s certain to be something for everyone. The Oak Ridge Boys are the headlining musical act, while the comedy-loving crowd will enjoy a performance by Second City. The parades are a show in themselves. Make sure you get a chance to attend at least one of the three.
For those not interested in the headlining events, there are more events than I can list. There’s so much music, food and theatre during the festival. For those who want to bring a little something home with them, the Dutch Marketplaats is open every day during the festival. You can also shop at the arts and crafts fair during the first weekend of the festival. Need a rest? Stop by the Family Rest Area and see GRPL favorite Kevin Kammeraad & Friends Puppet Theatre!
The biggest attraction for me is the Dutch Dancing, known as Klompen Dancing. Local school kids dress up in regional Dutch dress and wear the traditional wooden shoes to dance. I could sit and watch the dancers all day. I tried on a pair of wooden shoes a few years ago and decided I could never do what they do. Most of these kids have their shoes custom-made to fit them and wear many layers of socks to cushion their feet. They work for months every year to practice the dances.
If you are more interested in the shoes than the dancing, check out Dutch Village some time. They demonstrate how to make the wooden shoes. I was entranced by the stories of how the shoes were made and how the tradition was passed down from generation to generation. The technology changes over time look primitive to us now but were huge at the time!
While the Tulip Time Festival may not have as many beautiful tulips as usual due to the crazy weather this year, there’s still plenty to do and see in Holland the next few weeks! Don’t miss it!