The 2018 Tulip Court

A tradition in northwest Iowa that dates back to 1936, Orange City’s Tulip Festival is underway through Saturday.

It draws tens of thousands of visitors each year to see the fragrant flowers as well as Dutch costumes, architecture, music, dancing and food.

Festival promotion committee member Jenon Schallon has some advice for first-timers.

“Start with the trolley tour because it gives you a really good perspective on the history of the tulip festival as well as Orange City and it sets the tone for the rest of the day,” Schallon says. “You can plan and there’s so many different things to do depending on your interests, it introduces you to the tulip festival in the best way.”

Planning committee member Rick Droog says it takes a small army to pull this type of event off.

“There’s something like a thousand volunteers that all have little parts in this,” Rick Droog says, “but everybody does their part and it runs well.”

Attractions throughout the weekend include midway rides, artwork, wood shoe making demonstrations, antique tractors, craft shows, children’s activities, and of course, tulips — lots of tulips.

Sue Droog, who also serves on the planning committee, notes the festival will conclude Sunday morning at Windmill Park.

“Anybody’s welcome to join us for our worship service on Sunday at 11 in the park,” Sue Droog says. “We’re hoping for good weather. That’s just a really awesome way to end the week and give thanks for the opportunity to share our town and our culture with so many visitors.”

Twice each day through Saturday, visitors can watch the Volksparade march down Albany Avenue, past the historic Sioux County Courthouse. Before each afternoon parade at 2:15, the community, in full costume, scrubs the street to clean the parade route for the presentation of the Tulip Court. The evening parade begins at 6 PM.

Thanks to Mark Buss, KSOU, Sioux Center