Pella tulips.

After some anxious weeks of wondering if the traditional street scrubbing was going to be replaced by snow plowing — the people of Pella are ready for their annual tulip festival.

The 83rd annual Tulip Time Festival starts today and spokesperson Cyndi Atkins says the main attraction is ready. “They are beautiful, this past week we’ve had thousands and thousands of tulips start to bloom here in Pella, and it’s just gorgeous,” Atkins says. She says there are tulips all over town — from the public places to the private yards and gardens.

“We have over 300,000 tulips in this community,” according to Atkins,” not all will be in bloom at tulips time. One of the interesting little tidbits about our tulips — we actually plant three different varieties. So, we have early blooming, mid blooming and late blooming tulip. Usually we always have something blooming at tulip time.”

Atkins says there is a lot of free entertainment with the festival. “Up around town we have two parades every day. One parade is at 2:30 in the afternoon and then there is a lighted parade in the evening after 8:30 and the parades are free,” she says. “And what’s interesting to me too is that we have a number of groups who will stroll around the town and they will do singing and dancing performances in Dutch costumes.”

You can also see more about the Dutch heritage at the historical village. “There is a fee to get into the historical village, but I tell you it’s well worth it. You get the chance to go up and see the windmill and to tour the village which is just fill with a lot of historic Dutch memorabilia,” Atkins says. Atkins says on top of all the entertainment and activities they have the traditional Dutch foods available. The festival runs today through Saturday.

“It’s a great day trip, so if you only have a day, it’s an easy way to come down and spend the day and have a full day of fun,” Atkins says, ” But if you want to see everything, you’ll have to do a couple of days.” To find the full schedule of events, go to: www.pellatuliptime.com.