Pella

Allen Larson, Jill Ellis, Linda Dose, Bonnie Wilshusen and Linda Jaeger posed with hundreds of gorgeous tulips in Scholte Gardens in Pella, Iowa, last year.

This past week when my husband and I stayed home again to help “flatten the curve,” I couldn’t help but wonder what we were doing at this time last year.

I smiled when I looked back in the Fun Club records and saw we had visited Iowa last May for an ethnic tour. The Tulip Festival in Pella was included in that four-day adventure. I laughed out loud when I read the headline to one of my columns promoting the activity. It read “Get Out and Do Something Fun!”

I’m fairly certain everyone who was with us on that tour is very happy they were able to experience this marvelous event. This year, the Tulip Festival, along with so many other activities world-wide, was cancelled due to coronavirus health concerns. Pella is beautiful and unique all year long, but at Tulip Time it comes alive.

If you haven’t been to Pella during the festival, you may want to add it to your Bucket List. Let me tell you some of the reasons I love Tulip Time in Pella:

1. The tulips are gorgeous! There’s every color and variety imaginable in gardens throughout the city. Over 200,000 tulip bulbs are planted every year.

2. Thousands of residents wear Dutch attire to celebrate their heritage.

3. The parade is simply delightful. Colorful floats and marching bands feature the uniqueness of the Dutch culture. Tulips, wooden shoes and Dutch costumes are found in abundance.

4. The pre-parade “scrubbing of the streets” is a cultural tradition that will surely make you smile. Costumed men and older boys, with the help of wooden yokes on their shoulders, carry buckets of water to the hundreds of costumed women and children who scrub the streets with mops and brooms. It’s the cutest event ever.

5. And there’s so much more to see. I always enjoy visiting the Historical Village where artisans demonstrate wooden shoe-making and Dutch folk art. The Grandstand activities showcase Dutch singing and dancing, Dutch traditions and costumes. A visit to the Vermeer Windmill is interesting. It’s the tallest working grain windmill in the U.S. and tours are available. The town is also very proud of their 147-bell carillon, the Klokkenspel. And I can’t forget to mention Dutch foods are fun to sample. There are almond-filled pastries, commonly known as Dutch letters, and there are cheeses and chocolates and other goodies you won’t want to miss.

While coronavirus prevents the Fun Club from hosting events right now, hopefully we’ll be back soon. For the next few weeks, we may be reminiscing about other fun events we’ve experienced in the past. And hopefully, you can reminisce with us as we re-visit some great locations.

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