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'Most tulips have gone' after weekend rain, wind hit Holland festival

purple tulips in Holland, Michigan
Some flowers, such as these seen on Sunday in the city’s Historic District, managed to survive, but rain and wind destroyed many of the tulips in Holland over the weekend, just as the city’s annual Tulip Time Festival began. (Bridge Photo by Kelly House)
  • Rain and wind destroyed many of Holland’s tulips over the weekend as the city began its annual Tulip Time Festival 
  • The tulips had been in full bloom for about two weeks ahead of the festival but organizers were hopeful they would last 
  • Other events scheduled for the festival will go on as planned

Despite optimism from organizers of Holland’s annual Tulip Time Festival, “most tulips have gone” after rain and wind over the weekend destroyed them. 

“Sadly the tulips haven’t made it,” organizers wrote in a social media post Monday. “The rain and the wind over the weekend have knocked out most of the flowers in the city and at Windmill Island Gardens. While you can find a few solid beds at Centennial Park and Window on the Waterfront most tulips have gone.”


There was rain late Saturday in Holland, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures earlier in the day reached into the high 70s Fahrenheit. Sunday, a day into the festival, there was some wind, up to 14 mph. Festival organizers say the combination of rain, wind and the warm weather  caused a significant number of tulips to wilt away.  

“We still have many that are blooming,” said Gwen Auwerda, executive director of Tulip Time. “You just have to hunt around and find a bed that has not wilted or kind of dried up in the sun and the wind.”

The tulips had been in bloom for nearly two weeks prior to the festival, which was earlier than they had bloomed in previous years, as a result of the unusually warm winter and spring. However, organizers of the event remained optimistic that they would last for the duration of the festival. 


Millions of people each year attend the nine-day-long festival which celebrates the flower. However, events like the carnival and Dutch dance lessons will still go on as planned.

oragne tulips in Holland, Michigan
Tulips in bloom at the 2023 Tulip Time Festival in Holland. (Bridge photo by Isabel Lohman)

“The festival goes on whether there’s tulips or not, " Auwerda said. 

“All of our events are still happening this week. We’ve got the parade, our historic dancers, we’ve got shows at night, the carnival’s open. There's lots for people to do.” 

Organizers say there are also still tulips at the Tulip Immersion Garden for those who still want to take photos.

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