The Tulip Festival in Orange City started back in 1936 as a celebration of the city’s heritage, and the latest version is getting underway. The 2022 Promotion Chair Jennie Droog, says they expect to see a huge turnout.
“We’re expecting kind of record crowds again this year I was just down in Pella with our Orange City Court a few weeks ago and they had some really large crowds again and they were just returning back their first festival too,” Droog say. “And so, as we kind of look ahead for the weather being pretty mild where we are anticipating that we’ll see lots of people that will make the trip out and hopefully coming during many different activities too.”
One of the new features is Tulip Talk. “We have a local tulip expert who will be in the tulip tent at different times throughout the days talking about tulips their history how they came to America what it looks like to grow them here lots of different information,” she says.
Keri Drescher designs the city’s tulip beds — and says after a few early concerns — the tulip beds are in great shape for this weekend’s celebration. “Actually better than we anticipated. We didn’t have any snow hardly all winter, and so we were concerned. And then it got really warm and march and they were coming up a little too quick. So then we got concerned again,” she says, “and then it got really cold and they weren’t blooming. And now they’re blooming just in time for a festival. This weekend’s expected cooler temperatures will help the tulips hold their bloom.
Keri and her husband, Dan, run a seasonal business selling tulip bulbs, and this is their busiest week. She says there won’t be much down time once the festival begins Thursday. “We will usually come out to the shop about 8 a-m and we don’t quit until about 8 p-m and it’s constant,” Drescher says.
The Dreschers will also fill tulip orders this week that will be sent this fall to customers all over the U.S.
“We get to meet people from all over the country. Some people from other countries. We do have our supplier here on Thursday and Friday every year — he’s from Holland and he just enjoys walking through the gardens and talking to people and giving advice and speaking Dutch if you speak Dutch,” Drescher says.
The Dreschers moved to Orange City before the pandemic, and Keri says their tulip business helps make them part of the community. The Orange City Tulip Festival runs through Saturday. Go to octulipfestival.com to see the full schedule of events.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City/Mark Buss, KSOU, Sioux Center)