Tulip Fest is Ottawa's most beautiful event
May is a special month in my hometown of Ottawa. The month kicks off with several weeks of celebrations and fun with the Tulip Festival, culminates with the largest race weekend in North America, and has tons of special events sprinkled throughout.
An Historical Friendship Lives On
Tulip Fest is more than beautiful weather and beautiful tulips. Tulip Fest celebrates Canada’s role in liberating the Dutch in World War II and is a symbol of ongoing friendship between the two nations.
Ottawa was also the host community of the exiled Dutch Royal family during the war, and Princess Margriet was born to Princess Juliana in the Ottawa Civic Hospital.
As a sign of gratitude and appreciation, Princess Juliana presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs in 1945 and a lasting tradition and celebration were born.
Enjoying The Tulips
You could enjoy Tulip Fest by doing nothing more than wandering around the key participating parks and public grounds, enjoying the gorgeous colors and combination of traditional and more exotic tulips.
Enjoy some lemonade, ice cream, and check out Ottawa’s budding food truck scene while you practice your photography skills. Free shuttles buses between the different tulip zones make transportation easy and affordable.
No Flowers? No Problem!
This year, I’m taking my Tulip Fest participation to the next level by checking out some of the terrific non-flowery events.
A free concert series in front of City Hall featured several nights of local bands, artisan boutiques and shops, along with a wide variety of international food stalls. It was the perfect combination of homegrown talent and worldly treats and, despite being surrounded by dozens of large wooden tulips, the event didn’t feel too flowery at all!
Free Festivals = Fun!
While it can sometime be a disadvantage to travel to a destination during festival time, due to greater congestion and higher hotel prices, this isn’t always the case. Many hotels and even bed & breakfasts have weekend packages deals.
Festival season means many free and value priced perks – public entertainment, complimentary transportation, and deals on street eats. Even if the festival doesn’t sound like your style, make a point of reviewing the lineup of events – you never know what you might discover!
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