TULIP TIME FAQ
When is Tulip Time?
Tulip Time in Pella is always the first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in May.
How can I order tickets for the Festival?
Tickets will go on sale online in early November.
When will the tulips be at their prime?
The tulips in Pella are intentionally planted to be at their best during Tulip Time. The gardeners plant a broad variety of tulips with differing maturation dates for the best chance at some color for the festival. However, Mother Nature always has the last word, so it’s hard to perfectly predict when isthe optimal opportunity to see the most tulips in full bloom. But, it’s fairly safe to say that you should see beds of tulips in bloom from the week before Tulip Time through the week after.
How are the Tulip Queen and Court chosen?
Any girl who is at least 17 years old and a senior in the Pella School District is eligible to be nominated.The community begins in October nominating girls who are eligible. All girls nominated are then pictured in the Pella Town Crier. The community votes on those girls and the top 12 girls are invited to participate in an afternoon and evening judging. The evening event is open to the community and called the Tulip Queen’s Announcement Party. During this event, a panel of 35 judges chooses the Tulip Queen and her 4 attendants. This event occurs in early November.
Between November and March, the girls are fitted in their costumes and prepare the program they present at functions throughout the state. Between March and Tulip Time, the girls will make 44 appearances.
Who sponsors/supports the Pella Tulip Time festival?
The festival is one of the major events supported by the Pella Historical Society and Museums. It is an important fundraiser for this organization.
The festival is planned by the Tulip Time Steering Committee, six community volunteers who serve for six years, with one committee member rotating off each year while a new member is trained to take their place. This committee works year-round to bring the festival to our community and guests. In addition there are many partnerships that make the festival possible. The City of Pella provides numerous labor hours and support for the festival, as well as the Pella Chamber of Commerce and Pella Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional community partners are all the volunteers, schools, churches, businesses, and more that support the festival by volunteering, marching the in parade, food booths, and much more.
What are the costs involved?
There are many must-see exhibits and features at the festival. Entrance fees range from $5 - $20 but are well worth their entrance fee. The Tulip Time brochure provides detailed information about these museums, exhibits, and tours.
In addition, many of the events at Tulip Time are FREE! There is free seating curb side for the parades - just bring a blanket or lawn chair, and remember to remove your items after the lighted parade so that the parade area can be cleaned for the next day. The Dutch Market charges no admission. Many of the gardens are free for your enjoyment. Parking along the streets is free. Parking at Calvary Church on Elm St. on the north side of town is free with a shuttle bus available to provide you with free transportation to the downtown area.
What are the parade times during Tulip Festival?
We feature two parades on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: an afternoon parade at 2:30pm and a lighted evening parade at 8:30pm.
The best location for viewing parades and entertainment is the grandstands. Afternoon seating in the grandstand is $7 for the program, street scrubbers, Dutch Dancers, and parade. An alternative seating choice within the grandstand area is parkside seating, $5. You must bring your own chairs or blankets but there are some shaded spots. Parkside seating is an excellent choice for those in wheelchairs or walker chairs.
Prior to the evening parades, beginning at 7:00, we celebrate “Feesthouden.” You can also place your chairs and/or a blanket anywhere on the parade route and enjoy the excitement!
Do you have a schedule of events for each day?
Where is the best place to eat during the Festival?
Food is a big part of our festival! There are three options for dining featuring Dutch specialty treats during our festival: street vendors, local organization meals, or restaurants.
So many options to choose from! Featuring everything from funnel cakes and burgers to Dutch festival favorites like Poffertjes (mini sweet pancakes), Pella Bologna on a Stick, Stroopwafels (two waffle cookies sandwiching hot caramel-
molasses filling), and Vet Bollen (hot raisin doughnuts).
Local Organizations Meals:
Memorial Building – Dutch Lunch
Serving buffet style Thurs-Sat|11:30am – 2:00pm
$10 per person
Enjoy a Dutch lunch prepared by the award winning Central College Catering featuring Dutch spiced beef, hutspot, snijboontjes, pea soup, and more. Entertainment by the Pella High School Strolling Strings. Relax in our air-conditioned building and enjoy a Dutch experience. Visit the Veteran’s Museum with artifacts from the Civil War through Operation Desert Storm.
Trinity Reformed Church
407 Franklin Street, 641-628-2714
10:30 a.m.-1:00 pm Thurs and Fri
$10 per person
Advanced reservations available for groups of 20 or more. Ham or roast beef, mashed potatoes, beans, roll, choice of pie or almond bar, and drink. Located one block east of the Historical Village. Motor coaches receive free parking when making meal reservations in advance. Handicap accessible.
Central College - Dutch Dinner
5:00 & 7:00 pm Thurs and Fri
$20.00 per person
New this year - A 7:00 seating has been added!
Enjoy a traditional Dutch meal prepared by the award-winning Central College Catering. Entertainment at the 5:00 dinner by the Tulip Queen and Court (Thurs) and Dutch Family Singers (Fri). Entertainment for the 7:00 dinner to be announced. Information on the menu and The Netherlands provided during the meal. Cash bar available. Reservations required.
Please contact with your desired date, time, and the number in your party. We will contact you after April 1, 2020 if we are able to accommodate your request.
What lodging opportunities are in the Pella area?
What is the best way to get around Pella during the Tulip Festival?
What provisions do you have for those who are handicapped or have mobility concerns?
Handicap parking is available on a first come, first served basis at the Pella Public Library parking lot with access from Liberty Street. There are a limited number of wheelchairs available (non-electric) at the Third Hands Hospitality Tent in the NW corner of Central Park. We reserve a number of accessible grandstand seats for those with physical limitations.
Do you have a map of the parade route in the downtown area?