ORANGE CITY, IA - The Tulip Festival began in 1936 as a small celebration of Orange City's Dutch heritage, and it has grown into a large annual celebration that occurs every third weekend in May. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend each year's event.
The festival is internationally recognized with music and dancing by children and adults in Dutch costumes. There are two daily parades, nightly musical theater, Dutch delicacies, thousands of tulips throughout the city and a dozen replica windmills to look at. The parades are at 2:15 PM and 6:00 PM each day.
The event is Thursday through Saturday. Throughout those days, there are trolley tours, shoe carving demonstrations and various entertainment shows as well.
The event started out as a Tulip Show or a flower contest and eventually grew into the big event that it is now. There is always a Queen and her court throughout the festival. The court consists of five high school seniors picked by the public each September, then a pageant is held each November to crown the Queen.
There is a list of events at this year's festival and more information on the event here.