You can stop worrying — this spring’s unseasonably warm weather and last week’s freezing spell haven’t harmed the tulips in Pella. Take it from Iris VanderWall, a spokesman with the Tulip Festival this year. The tulips did begin blooming very early and local folks were concerned — but the ten days of sub-normal temperatures held them and “we’ve had the longest bloom that I can recall.” While frost has seldom been a problem, the flowers have bloomed early in warm spring seasons in past years, but VanderWall says the annual tulip festival kicked off this morning with a bumper crop. They estimate 150-thousand people come to visit the town of fewer than 10-thousand people, and today begins the 3-day festival. There’s a stage show each afternoon and evening followed by street dancing by Dutch dancers, and then street-scrubbing. They scrub the whole block in front of the grandstand in preparation for the arrival of the Tulip Queen and the 80-unit parade. She says cheerfully “We’re a little town doing big things!” The Tulip Queen’s crowned today and the Royal Court will be presented in events again Friday and Saturday. Marie Bruns from Pella was chosen from among the high-school girls, who are all eligible to be queen. She was chosen in November and the queen and court do a lot of publicity for the festival. VanderWall says volunteers work on Tulip Time year-round and are thrilled to see it culminate this weekend. The Pella Tulip Festival grandstand is sold out for this afternoon’s festivities, and the event runs through Saturday. For maps, directions and events surf to