Every year on the third weekend in May the Tulip Festival is held in a small town called Orange City, Iowa. This year will be their 74th year! It is fun to go see them in their parades wearing the authentic Dutch clothing and wooden Dutch shoes. They have multiple events going on for 3 days starting on Thursday May 15th and running until Saturday evening on May 17th this year. There is music and dancing in full Dutch attire, a theater production called “The Music Man” this year, the picking of the Dutch Queen who reigns over festivities, many windmills on display – including their Chamber of Commerce housed in a large windmill, Dutch delicacies to eat – lots of good food vendors, exhibits of people’s art, street scrubbing each day, a carnival midway, and so many other events are slated to take place. And not to mention the hundreds of tulips you can see in a variety of colors each year – they are just beautiful! You can also stop and have a pair of wooden shoes made in your size while you are enjoying other events – beautifully handcrafted! There are little stores that feature a lot of Dutch made products for sale that one can take home souvenirs of their visit. Always a lot to see and do and a great time for the whole family.
A little history about the town of Orange City, Iowa. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 6,004 people – this could be due in part to Northwestern College, a Christian liberal arts college with a little over 1200 students in attendance. The town was first called “Holland,” but was later changed in honor of Dutch royalty named after William of Orange. It is best known for its Dutch heritage and their celebration of the Tulip Festival every May. It is the county seat of Sioux County in N.W. Iowa. Many of the cities buildings are faced with Dutch architectural fronts and their courthouse is on the National Register of Historic places. Courthouse photo:
The town was founded in 1870 by some people from Pella, Iowa – who also hold a Tulip festival each year. The settlers were looking for cheaper and better land. Northwest Iowa has some of the richest black dirt excellent for growing!
Orange City is a nice little town to visit and the town comes alive during the Tulip Festival every year. To see all they have to offer this year for events, please check out the link below for photos and what is planned for this years celebration.