TulipsPella’s annual Tulip Time festival draws thousands of visitors to the south-central Iowa community every spring, but this year, the colorful flowers are blooming a bit early. Festival chairwoman Susan Canfield says she’s not too concerned.

“There are over 180,000 tulips planted throughout Pella,” Canfield says. “In the Central Park alone, there are 32,000 tulips planted each year. The Historical Village has another 40- to 50,000. A lot of community members plant tulips, so there are tulips all over Pella.”

While many thousands of the flowers are in full bloom now, the festival isn’t until next week. Many visitors are heading to Pella now, but Canfield assures there will still be plenty of color lingering into next week. She says not all of the Dutch community’s fragrant flowers are missing the main show.

“There actually is a bed in Central Park where the tulips have not even come out yet, those haven’t even bloomed,” Canfield says. “A lot of them are out. There are some that have come and gone. We had some hail last week and that damaged some of them. The majority of them, yes, they’re in full bloom right now, but we do expect them to last and we do expect to have color next week for the festival.”

The fest draws individuals and tour buses from all across the region and it opens on the first Thursday in May each year.