The Pella Tulip Festival opens its three-day run today year after COVID forced the cancellation of the event last year. The annual festival, which started in 1935, had only been canceled once before, back in 1946.
Spokesperson Cyndi Atkins says the events return with some modifications “We are doing quite a bit to try and be more conscious of being safe and increasing the social distancing. We have revised some of our plans for food stands — so they are much more spread out. There is at least six feet or more distance between different stands,” she says.
One of the changes has the parade staying in place with people walking around it. “We will have a walking parade, which means we have floats on display all throughout our festival area. And we are even going to turn the lights on, on those floats from 8:30 to 9:30 every night, so it kind of reflects what would normally be our lighted parade in the evening,” Atkins says.
Atkins says they are excited to have the festival back and are trying to make it as close to normal as possible. “Just wanting to try and have as much fun as possible – but still keep people a little more socially distanced. We are encouraging people if they are in a crowded area to wear their masks. We will have hand sanitizer stands,” Atkins says.
There will also be daily grandstand shows, nightly entertainment — and most of the 200,000 tulips, are still in bloom. Get details at VisitPella.com.
Activities begin each day in Pella around 9 a.m. and continue until the lighted parade floats go dim around 9:30 p.m.