Monday, May 10, 2010

Trip To Tulip Time

Pella, Iowa is home to the annual Tulip Time Festival. Pella was founded as a Dutch community and their Dutch roots are evident all year long, but even more so at Tulip Time.

Windmill at Brinkhoff  Park

Tulips at Brinkhoff Park

Another tulip bed at Brinkhoff Park

Dutch architecture is evident in many buildings in Pella. Even the Casey's and Kum and Go convenience stores and Walmart are built in Dutch architectural style.

Downtown buildings

Pella Opera House

Tulip Tower - There is a stage in front of the tower.

The Dutch wore wooden shoes. These are a giant pair in front of the visitors' center.

Notice this pretty lady's costume. It is customary for Tulip Time participants to dress in Dutch costume.

Examples of Dutch hats on  store window mannequins

This is the Tulip Queen and her court. Don't they look amazing?!!! One of my high school classmates, Phyllis Zylstra, earns her living making costumes for Tulip Time and has written a book about Dutch costumes. Holland has 11 provinces, and the traditional dress for each province is different.  Phyllis and her co-authors' book is called Dutch Costumes: A Look Into the Past. You can take purchase her book at

Food is a big deal at Tulip Time too. Notice the "S" shaped pastry in the front of the decorated cookies; it is called a Dutch letter. It's a delicious and very popular treat year round. The Dutch letter has a flaky crust and is filled with almond paste.

More Dutch letters in a bakery window

Are you hungry yet?

Tulip Time 2010

For more photos of Tulip Time, including my trip to the Windmill Antique Mall, click here.


  1. Wow, those tulips are beautiful! Very interesting post, as always. Have a great day! :)

  2. What a lovely festival; the tulips are gorgeous and the town is so quaint and unique...You always have such interesting posts, Beth...I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day...Kisses to Gracie!

  3. The pictures were totally, totally amazing, everything is so pretty!

  4. We were in Pella three weeks ago and thousands of tulips were at their peak along with redbuds and rhodies... we were concerned that there would be any bloom left for the festival! Apparently the later tulips came through!! I have a photo posting in my archive on the Pella tulips from three weeks ago if you're interested... Larry

  5. What a fun trip, Beth! The tulips are beautiful and the cookies....yep, they made me hungry. Why don't you come sign up for my giveaway?...Christine

  6. That looks like a cool place to visit. The tulips are beautiful, and those pasteries look so tasty!!

  7. Thank-you for visiting me today, because you did I found you and your lovely blog. I learned some new things about the Dutch in this post. I read previous posts too and your garden ideas and plans are well worth reading. Love the compost bin~

  8. That looks like a lovely town. The buildings are so nice. Not many downtown are thriving and very few have bakeries!

  9. How wonderful to see Fields of tulips!


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