Orange City, IA Tulip Festival gearing up for full bloom this ye - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Orange City, IA Tulip Festival gearing up for full bloom this year

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ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - The storied Orange City Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa centers around the Dutch traditions of Holland: Windmills, smoked and grilled meats, dutch bakery confections... and tulips.

"It kind of started as a celebration of our Dutch heritage. We plant thousands of them all around town, the community members do and the city does, in plans that they'll bloom in time for the festival," Juliana Pennings, Tulip Festival and Community Tourism Director said.

Juliana, a former Tulip Festival Queen herself, said the tulips are planted in the last two weeks of October and burrow in the ground through the cold Iowa winters, peeking out of the soil every spring just in time for the weekend-long festivities in Orange City.

But how can they be sure that all of these flowers will be ready to go by the time the festival comes around?

Tulip Festival Officials say they're seasoned pros at dealing with the testy climate of Northwest Iowa. They say they're always sure there will be at least some tulips to go around.

"We plant three different varieties of tulips to try to accommodate the different weather situations that we get in the Midwest. Some moisture, temperatures, heat, they all make a difference," Pennings said.

As a result of planning ahead, the tulip themed activities are always abundant.

"We have a flower show that goes on all three days, Windmill Park is full of tulips, they line our main street, you can visit Mulder's Tulip Town Bulb Company, they have over 50 varieties of tulips," Pennings said.

That way, fun is sure to be in full bloom for everyone at the festival.

The Tulip Festival is May 15-17 this year in Orange City.

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