Gardening

Tulip Festival

Tulips Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

The Skagit Valley is 60 miles north of Seattle and each April becomes one of the most brightly colored destinations in the world.  This is the time when thousands of tulips burst into bloom. The valley has long been a major grower of the flowers, but more recently it has also become home to one of the best springtime events in the Northwest.  This year more than a 1,000,000 from every state in the union will visit and take part.

The festival now runs April 1st to the 30th.   This ensures the tulips’ blooming season will land somewhere within the festival.  The official festival website even has an interactive map to tell you which fields (and which colors) are in bloom throughout the month.  Nowadays, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival encompasses more than 1,000 acres.

Things to Do

In addition to tulips, the festival offers many activities. Art shows and concerts show the culture of the area, while basketball and lacrosse tournaments appeal to active guests. The nearby town of Mount Vernon is a great place to spend time, and the Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair and the Kiwanis Salmon Barbecue are especially popular, serving as fundraisers for local establishments. Local shellfish harvesters and cheese makers offer tours of their operations. Running enthusiasts enjoy the annual Tulip Run, a 2-mile or 5-mile flat course on gravel trails, which is so memorable that it’s recently been recommended in Runner’s World, while cyclists flock to the Tulip Pedal, an independent 20-, 40-, or 60-mile bicycle route through the area.  The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Brochure is the best source of information on activities.

Events include:

  • Tulip Festival Street Fair in Downtown Mount Vernon- April 19-21, 2013
  • Kiwanis Club Salmon BBQ – April 6-28, 2013
  • Art shows at several different venues
  • Tastings at local wineries and breweries
  • Anacortes Quilt Walk – throughout April
  • Tulip Run – April 6, 2013
  • Tulip Pedal – April 20, 2013

Information

One of the major growers of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is Roozengaarde, the largest grower of flower bulbs in the United States. They are owned by the Roozen family who has been growing bulbs in the United States and Holland since the early eighteenth century. Their blooms in Skagit Valley are spread across 1,000 acres and include tulips, daffodils, and irises. Their Display Garden alone boasts over a quarter of a million bulbs and an authentic Dutch Windmill.

Another of the largest growers in the festival is Tulip Town, owned by Tom DeGoede, who lived in Holland until the mid-twentieth century. Tulip Town’s International Peace Gardens are filled with tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and peonies. They also offer a Dahlia Shop, an art gallery, an espresso bar and a gift shop filled with souvenir festival posters. Their indoor show includes a 110-foot painted mural of Skagit Valley. Visitors can also capture photos of the fields of blooms from a trolley ride or watch the professional kite demonstrations during festival weekends.

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival celebrates this annual burst of spring color. Mother Nature decides exactly when the display of color begins, with special events scheduled throughout the month of April. These

WSU GardenWSU Discovery Garden (part of the research and extension center) is also open to the public.  The display gardens are designed and maintained by volunteer organizations such as the Master Gardener’s Discovery Garden, Skagit Valley Rose Society, and the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation. There are almost 30 different types of gardens represented, including a native plant garden, a shade garden, a water wise garden, a rose garden, a rhody garden, and a fuchsia garden.

 

6 Comments

  1. Wish you were not so far away, I would love to see fields of tulips. What an amazing sight.
    Donna recently posted..Sometimes Winter Rains on Your ParadeMy Profile

  2. I’ve been wanting to check out a tulip fest, but I think Woodburn, OR is a whole lot closer and even that’s about a four hour drive.
    Gunta recently posted..what a difference a day makesMy Profile

  3. How wonderful! Thanks for the information. I never knew about Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. What a great destination this could be for a West coaster like myself. If I remember correctly, its about a 4 hour flight.
    Nadia@Loveliveandgarden recently posted..The Flower Fields of HollandMy Profile

  4. Visiting the Tulip Festival, take a day to ride the ferry through the US and Canadian islands…that would be a wonderful weekend.
    Charlie@Seattle Trekker recently posted..WisteriaMy Profile

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