pella, iowa | a touch of holland
Tulip Time Festival is just around the corner! Oh wait, you don’t know what Tulip Time is? You really need to get out more. 😉
As most of you know, we grew up in the small town of Pella, Iowa. We moved to the United States from the Philippines when we were 3 years old. Why Pella? It’s where my grandma and grandpa chose to raise all of their kids and grandkids. Thankful for them and that BIG decision they had to make.
Anyways, about Tulip Time. It’s a festival in May where people celebrate Pella’s Dutch heritage from food, clothing, dancing, and reenactments like street scrubbing. We are obviously not Dutch, but you don’t have to be Dutch to enjoy this time of year. People from all over the world come to see what it’s all about. We love it so much we go back just for this festival even when we lived in Minnesota and Illinois. Thankfully, now our drive is only 1 hour.
This year the festival is next weekend May 5th, 6th, and 7th.
Tulip Time is extra special to me (Cecilia) because my husband proposed 8 years ago after an afternoon parade, at the square, near a beautiful tulip bed. I had this fabulous idea of taking a photo by that specific tulip bed every year, which we did for awhile. Then a few years ago they decided to take out that tulip bed. I’m going to have to talk to the City of Pella and tell them to put it back. 😉
We decided this past Monday to be tourists for the day and photograph this beautiful town we still call home. First we went to the town square. The Tulip Tower is where they will introduce the Tulip Queen and her royal court. These are young ladies beautiful inside and out!
Then we scoped out the tulips at the Scholte Garden.
As we crossed back to the square to head to Jaarsma Bakery. Niña got stopped to take photos. While she was done taking one for a couple. Another couple asked her. She was even telling them where to stand and sit…haha! It’s the photographer in us that will never go away. One couple even said, “You should be a photographer.” Niña’s comment? “Well, you picked the right person to take your photo.” LOL.
Jaarsma Bakery is where our dad worked as a baker for YEARS and is where he retired. Everyone needs to make a stop here. I swear no matter what time it is, they are always busy. During Tulip Time, the line will be out the door. Those ladies and gentlemen in there working are so quick and nice. The wait will be worth it. Make sure to get plenty of goodies to take home with you. The Dutch Letters are popular and we LOVE their donut holes. Our husbands love the strudels.
Then we stopped at Sunken Garden.
The Vermeer Mill is ginormous and beautiful over by the Pella Historical Village. Make sure to take a photo op in front of there while wearing the huge dutch shoes.
EmBellish is a great place to shop for purses. We each have a couple purses from there as well as our other sister, Nariza. It’s always nice to have purses that not everyone will have.
Another popular attraction is The Klokkenspel. It’s a clock that chimes and historical figures will appear as well.
Then we stopped at the antique store, Windmill Mall. Niña purchased a couple items for her house.
We went to The Molengracht Plaza, where you’ll see a replicate of an authentic Dutch canal as well as various businesses.
Our last stop was at Smokey Row to grab some food. We used to work there during the summer/winter during college break.
We wish we could’ve taken more photos and stopped at more places, but we only had a limited time without kids. You all know how it is. There are more wonderful boutiques, shops, and restaurants to check out while visiting Pella at Tulip Time. Make sure to watch the parades Thursday-Saturday. They have a day and night parade. Check out the Dutch Market craft show at West Market Park (a great park for the kiddos). Also, make sure to get some poffertjes. It’s a must before you leave the festival.
Now mark your calendars and make a trip next weekend with your families! See you all there! 🙂