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Tulip Time Schedule & Attractions

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Pella's 89th Annual Tulip Time Festival

"Everything's Coming Up Tulips!"

 

May 2, 3, & 4, 2024

Schedule of Events & Activities

(Schedule is subject to change)

Historical Village and Vermeer Windmill Tour

  • 507 Franklin Street, enter on Franklin Street east of the Windmill

  • Open 9:00am-6:00pm

  • $20 adults, $15 ages 5-17, Free ages 4 & under

  • Tickets available at the gate or online

The Historical Village and Vermeer Windmill ticket includes a tour of the Vermeer Windmill (including the grinding and observation level) as well as the Wyatt Earp Boyhood Home, the Werkplaats, Beason-Blommers Grist Mill, Dutch Bakery, gift shop, and more than 45,000 tulips planted throughout the Village. The Wyatt Earp Experience takes you on a journey through the life of the famous Western lawman in his childhood home. Craft demonstrations throughout the day include woodworking, rope making, knitting, Hindeloopen painting, quilting, wooden shoe production, rug braiding, and Dutch letter baking.

 

When you visit the Vermeer Windmill, you'll tour five floors, from the base of the mill where grain would have been brought in, to the top floor where grain is milled. It’s one of the tallest working windmills in North America! Please note that not all levels are handicap accessible.

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Tulips

 

There are many opportunities to see tulips in Pella completely free! We plant early, mid-, and late blooming varieties of tulips to ensure a several weeks of bloom. However, the weather controls when peak bloom will occur. Find updates on our social media and on the City of Pella's website.

 

Tulip Avenue in Central Park and Sunken Gardens Park

The City of Pella plants tens of thousands of tulips throughout these two parks in celebration of Pella’s Dutch heritage. Especially vibrant and colorful is the Tulip Avenue in Central Park, which runs from the north fountain to the center of the park. An immense variety of tulips are showcased along this sidewalk.

Scholte House Gardens

Corner of Broadway and Washington Streets

Behind the Historic Scholte House Museum are the beautiful Scholte Gardens. Featuring more than 35,000 tulips, the gardens are free and open to the public. At one time, this land was under the care of Maria Scholte, the wife of Pella's founder Dominie Hendrik P. Scholte. Here you'll find benches to rest on, art sculptures to admire, a gazebo for shade, and many varieties of tulips.  Once the tulips have finished blooming, they are replaced with annuals so that the garden remains enjoyable through autumn.

 

Fair Haven Memorial Garden

Corner of East 3rd and Union Streets

This popular garden was originally planted in 1947 with tulip bulbs donated by the Netherlands in gratitude for war-relief aid sent by the citizens of Pella after World War II. Today these gardens feature more than 13,000 tulips. The Memorial Garden also features two monuments listing more than 800 local veterans who served in WWII. Once the tulips have finished blooming, they are replaced with annuals so that the garden remains enjoyable through autumn.

Central College

812 University Street

Nearly 15,000 tulips will bloom on Central College’s beautiful campus. The main tulip beds are located in the plaza by Graham Conference Center, east and north sides of Central Hall, Jordan Plaza, Peace Mall, and Weller Flag Garden, with various other small beds and at the campus cornerstones. Approximately 30 different varieties will bloom throughout the spring.

 

Pella Garden Club's Annual Tulip Bulb Sales and Flower Show

728 Washington Street, Scholte House

9:00am-6:00pm

See beautiful arrangements using tulips in the historic home of Pella's founder Dominie Scholte. Order your tulip bulbs in person at the Flower Show or online here.

Fresh Tulip and Bulb Sales

507 Franklin Street, Scholte Church at the Historical Village

9:00am-6:00pm

Purchase fresh-cut tulips that are specially designed and packaged by local farmer Meredith Nunnikhoven of Barnswallow Flowers, or add color to your garden by purchasing a collection of bulbs shipped to your front door. Learn from regional farmers and gardeners about growing tulips in the Midwest, and enjoy an amazing live art installation with tulips. A portion of each sale is donated to Pella Historical Museums and Tulip Time.

Tulip Toren Entertainment

 

Tulip Toren, Franklin Street

Our afternoon and evening shows take place on the Tulip Toren (or "Tower") stage.

 

The afternoon Grandstand shows begin at 1:00pm each day and end with our Volks parade. The show features Dutch dancing and singing, a Dutch Costume Culture Show, presentation of the Tulip Queen and her Court, and more. Tickets are $12 for bleacher seating and $5 for park seating, and they can be purchased outside the Grandstand area or online here.

 

Our FREE evening Feesthouden shows feature special entertainment each night (7:00pm on Thursday and Friday, 6:30pm on Saturday) on the Tulip Toren stage. Special thanks to Central College for sponsoring these evening shows! This year, our entertainment will feature:

 

Thursday Evening

Bridges 2 Harmony Gospel Choir

The Bridges 2 Harmony Gospel Choir (B2H) was formed to give students at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, a high-quality musical experience in the gospel genre. The 52-member choir has become known for its passionate and rich choral vocals, “precision, discipline, respect and perfect tenderness.”

 

Friday Evening

Pella Community High School Jazz I

Pella Jazz I is directed by Jeff Robilliard and consists of students from Pella Community High School. They will play a range of music including classics by Duke Ellington and Shorty Rogers as well as more contemporary tunes by Iowa composers such as Michael Conrad and Steve Shanley.

 

Fireworks! A special treat after the parade on Friday is the fireworks display. This fireworks show is visible from the downtown area. Sponsored by Pella Corporation.

 

Saturday Evening

Jason Brown

Country music recording artist Jason Brown has performed for hundreds of thousands of music fans across the Midwest. Brown has charted 5 songs consistently on the Billboard and MediaBase Country Charts. He was born in the heart of the Midwest, three miles outside of Pella, Iowa, from a bloodline of truck drivers, coal miners and farmers. Gospel and traditional country songs are some of his favorites. 

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Parades

We have two parades each day of the festival. The afternoon Volks parade at approximately 2:45pm brings Dutch culture and Pella fun to life. Or, view the parade in a special way at the evening lighted parade at approximately 8:30pm. The parade route heads north on Main Street, clockwise around the Square, and east on Franklin Street, concluding in front of the Historical Village.

 

Klokkenspel

625 Franklin Street

Pella’s Klokkenspel brings the Old World to Pella in a musical way! Enjoy the 147-bell carillon as you watch figures tell of Pella’s history and heritage. Performance times are every 30 minutes each day of Tulip Time.

Learn, Enjoy, Relax

 

Pella City Tours

640 Franklin Street

8:30am-12:15pm & 4:00-6:00pm

Explore our beautiful town while hearing about our Dutch history and scenic spots throughout the community. Tour wagon tickets are available each day throughout the festival, or they can purchased online here.

Pella Opera House

611 Franklin Street

Relax while enjoying a show at the Pella Opera House – a beautiful historic theater in the heart of downtown. You’ll find a Martini Huis and shows for all ages throughout the festival including The Reluctant Pioneer - the story of Maria Scholte, Matt Barber Experience, Tiptoe Through the Tulips with Davis Folkerts on the Barton Theatre Organ, and Jara Johnson: Singer & Songwriter. Tickets are available for unlimited access to the Great Hall and Historic Pella Photo display as well as the restrooms - find show schedule and purchase tickets here.

 

Barnswallow Flowers Presents: Meet & Greet Flower Farmer Speaker Series! 

507 Franklin Street, Scholte Church at the Historical Village

10:00am & 1:30pm

Hear from regional flower farmers growing specialty tulip crops along with other unique flowers. From garden design to flower farmer education, each farmer will share their love for tulips along with her unique journey in agriculture! Please see schedule for presentation times.

Museums

Along with the Vermeer Windmill and Historical Village, explore the Scholte House Museum, stroll around the Tuttle Cabin, and learn from the Fire House Museum, Pella Rolscreen Depot Museum, Vermeer Corporation Museum, and Veterans Museum. Find hours and locations on the daily schedule, coming soon.

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Dutch Craft Market

1002 Franklin Street (West Market Park)

9:00am-7:00pm

Visit West Market Park to enjoy 100+ booths filled with a variety of shopping options.

 

"Greetings from Tulip Time!" Mural

Located between the Vermeer Windmill and Museum Store entrance, local artist Nicole Pitts has created a cheerful tulip themed mural to honor the beauty of the festival. Now, it's a destination spot for selfie takers of all ages. Be sure to stop by for a photo to share!

Pop-Up Performances

Find times and locations for pop-up performances on the daily schedule.

Dutch Family Singers

Listen and watch Dutch songs and traditional dances performed by an energetic group of families in Dutch costume.

 

Dutchesses

A group of high school women sing traditional Dutch songs and perform Dutch dances in Dutch costume, complete with wooden shoes!

 

Tiny Tulips

Students in grades 4th through 6th perform classic songs in Dutch such as “Happy Birthday” and “Are You Sleeping?”

 

Local "Celebrities"

Meet and greets the Tulip Queen and her Royal Court, Sinterklaas, and famous western lawman Wyatt Earp.

 

Pella High School Orchestra Strolling Strings

Thursday & Friday only

Members of the Pella Community High School Orchestra perform Dutch songs and classical music on violin, viola, cello and bass. Weather permitting.

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Where to Eat

 

Dozens of food booths are located throughout the festival area with a variety of delicious foods to enjoy. You'll find everything from brats and funnel cakes to more authentic Dutch items like poffertjes and Pella bologna.

Reserve your seat at Maria's Tea Room! While you enjoy Dutch treats from Pella's bakeries, meat markets, and chocolate maker, you'll hear the story of Pella's founding family, the Scholtes. Reservations for Maria's Tea Room are FULL for Tulip Time. However, we would love to host you on Wednesday before Tulip Time, or you can be added to a waiting list! Click for info.

 

Enjoy an authentic Dutch meal and special entertainment dinner served by Central College. Reservations required - click here to learn more.

 

The Fly-In Pancake Breakfast served on Saturday morning at the Pella Municipal Airport (501 West 15th Street) allows you to start your day off right while viewing antique, classic, experimental, and corporate aircraft on display.

View a list of Pella's restaurants, bakeries, and markets here.

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Amenities

Immanuel Reformed Fellowship offers a Family Rest Stop located behind Franklin Street Clothing (612 Franklin Street). The entrance faces the alley behind the store. The Family Rest Stop offers a private area for nursing mothers, free popcorn, coffee, water, and a single stall bathroom.

 

Third Church will have nursing and changing areas, along with wheelchairs and first aid tent, all located on the west side of Central Park. Refreshments will be available.

Sunday Church Service

2110 Vermeer Road, Vermeer Global Pavilion

11:00am

Join us for a community-wide thanksgiving and praise service that marks the official end of the three-day festival. Read more here.

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