It's almost the most colorful time of the year for this small Iowa community, who relishes the springtime thanks to an important tradition that's been going strong since 1935.

The first weekend in May in Pella, IA is always "Tulip Time," a gorgeous time in the western Iowa city where tulips bloom. Tulips in Pella are planted in October and November of the previous year, and while Mother Nature sometimes delays the celebration with inclement weather, the start of May continually proves the most optimal time to take in the beauty of these flowers.

Photo Credit: Google Maps
Photo Credit: Google Maps

There's a New Addition for Tulip Time 2024:

This year, Tulip Time is taking place Thursday, May 2nd through Saturday, May 4th. However, there's one snag in the plan this year.

Due to an unseasonably warm winter, tulips in Pella have been blooming far earlier than the usual start of the annual celebration. So as not to disrupt tradition, a retired community member is constructing wooden tulips for decoration as a precautionary measure. Organizers are also working on producing as many as possible to serve as a substitute in case the blooming period has passed.

Photo Credit: KCCI, YouTube
Photo Credit: KCCI, YouTube

Tulip Time is Mostly Free and Even Features Parades!:

Most of the events at Tulip Time are free to attend. The sights, colors, and smells are all free, as is the popular Dutch Market and street parking too. Some of the exhibits and shows charge admission, however, with entry fees ranging from $5 - 20.

One of the biggest attractions of Tulip Time, besides the flowers, are the parades. An afternoon parade begins at around 2:45pm and the lighted evening parade starts at around 8:30pm. The parades travel down Main Street, around Central Park, and past the Pella Historical Village on Franklin Street, per Pella Historical's website.

What is There to Eat During Tulip Time?:

Multiple street vendors serve up everything from burgers to funnel cakes during the annual event. Being that Pella is famously a Dutch-inspired locale, there are several Dutch offerings such as poffertjes (mini pancakes), bologna on a stick, stroopwafels (waffle cookies with a caramel filling), and vet bollen (fried donuts), just to name a few offerings.

You can also click here to get a taste of all the nearby restaurants in Pella, who will be serving up delicious food in conjunction with Tulip Time too!

Read more about Tulip Time in Pella, IA on Pella Historical's website. Also read on how Pella was ranked as one of the safest cities in all of Iowa!

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Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

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