Tulip Time

This weekend is Tulip Time in Pella, Iowa.  My husband and I lived and worked there for 25 years, so we enjoy Pella all year round.  Friendly people, a beautiful, clean town, Dutch architecture and gorgeous flowers all summer.  Of course, the food is excellent too…how many towns still have two real meat markets…known for their ring bologna, wonderful dried beef, imported cheeses, and more, and two bakeries like most folks just dream about.  Big parades every day, including lighted night time parades, are a hallmark of the festival, along with street scrubbing, authentic Dutch costumes (often purchased in Holland or handed down through families) and big lunches provided by local churches.  Thousands come in on tour buses, and on Saturday morning cars are backed up through the next town or two.
Everyone has to have Dutch letters, (almond-filled pastries shaped like an S), and puff pillows, and poffertjes (mini Dutch pancakes) and take home goodies from the bakeries and meat markets.  
Goodies from Jaarsma's Bakery
When we lived there, we enjoyed walking a few blocks to the square to purchase these any week day; a real luxury.  The tulip beds are planted to beautiful summer flowers like parks we saw all over Europe, so Pella is a fun place to visit all year, although the bakeries, meat markets and downtown shops selling Dutch lace and pottery, kitchenwares and the like are not open on Sunday.
I took my photos shown here last year; the food, shops and flowers are available any time.  Jaarsma's Bakery also ships all over the country.
The tulips are perfect this year; right on time...and should still be blooming next week.


  1. Pella sounds wonderful. I have got to git there there this year.

  2. I just found your blog and have been looking around. I live in the far northwest corner of Iowa, 16 miles from Orange City in Sioux County, where the 'other' Tulip Festival is located. Sioux County has been predominately Dutch for several decades, but is now changing a little. I am German and not originally from this county, but feel very at home here for the last 25 years. I love the almond patties and rusk buns made at Casey's Bakery in Sioux Center. They also ship all over the country. I had never heard of rusk buns until I moved here. There are other certain foods that these Dutch people love over and above other areas of the state and country. Moving to Sioux County is almost like moving to a foreign country, but wonderful!


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