Celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Tulip Time Pageant Parade

Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan, is the official celebration of one of many largest Dutch ethnic occasions within the Midwestern United States. Residents of the Netherlands proudly have a good time their Dutch heritage with a well-known American competition known as Tulip Time.

I made a decision to put in writing this text after being impressed by a small unit of veterans of the Vietnam Conflict who participated in Meijer Muziekparade.

We had been lucky to be in Holland, Michigan, this yr to take part within the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Tulip Time Pageant Parade within the presence of greater than 500,000 individuals. It was named "Finest Small City Pageant" by Readers Digest, ranked among the many "High 100 Occasions in North America" ​​by ABA, and featured within the e book Superb Locations to Go in North America.

This yr, the primary Tulip Time (Volksparade) present was held on Might sixth, the second (Kinderparade) on Might seventh and the final (Muziekparade, which we visited) on Might ninth.

The concept of ​​adopting the tulip as an official flower of Holland and celebrating it with a competition was born at a gathering of the Ladies's Literary Membership in 1927 following a suggestion by Miss Lida Rogers, biology trainer at Holland Excessive Faculty. The next yr, the town council purchased 100,000 bulbs of tulips from the Netherlands and planted them in city parks and different areas. Within the spring of 1929, 1000’s of tulips bloomed and the annual competition was born. Within the mid-1930s, Tulip Time was already recognized nationally. Many well-known names akin to Dorothy Lamour, Pat O Brien, Christina Aguilera, Verve Pipe, Jars of Clay and George Raft participated within the competition.

After the Second World Conflict, Tulip Time continues to draw 1000’s of vacationers annually. In 1947, the Netherlands expressed gratitude to the Dutch neighborhood for offering help to their nation after the battle. The inhabitants of Amsterdam have introduced to Holland a avenue organ known as "Automotive Frei Breda", which at this time entertains the guests of Windmill Island. The identical yr started an extended custom of visiting the Governor of Michigan, who runs the road cleansing ceremonies.

Regardless of the dangerous climate, this yr's Muziekparade began virtually on time. I used to be stunned by the participation of many strolling items – about 60. Though Holland, Michigan shouldn’t be a really populous neighborhood (about 35,000 inhabitants), the Meijer Muziekparade might have been in comparison with the parades of massive cities from my perspective.

The parcel was so effectively organized that it attracted the eye of passersby sitting and staying on the street. It was actually a spectacular parade. The items represented many organizations, colleges, musical teams, dance golf equipment, trolleys, small and enormous firms, totally different golf equipment or social teams. There have been previous automobiles adopted by horses, firefighters, policemen, a navy academy, the Michigan Nationwide Air Guard, the Holland Hockey Affiliation, a bunch of the US Marine Corps, and so forth. The tulips had been displayed on most automobiles and vans and carried in bouquets by the members.

Earlier members embrace US Senator Carl Levin, US Consultant Pete Hoekstra, State Senators Wayne Kuipers and Patricia Birkholz, and Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land, in addition to from america. different notables. Some got here from totally different states of america to take part within the Meijer Muziekparade, and all appeared honored to take part.

Nevertheless, among the most unforgivable members who’ve been greeted by the group is probably not recognized by identify. Whereas I used to be taking photos, I heard applause from afar – louder than any applause ever seen earlier than. Quickly, I seen a small group in navy uniform. These had been the Vietnam Veterans of America, chapter 73, introduced by seven strolling males and one wheelchair. The spectators stuffed them with enthusiastic applause.

Holland celebrates its Dutch heritage not solely with the Tulip Pageant, but additionally with greater than six million tulips. As well as, in 1976, Holland obtained a powerful commercial by taking part within the parade of the rose event.

© Rachel Madorsky

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