Holland Prunes Tulip Time, Drops Longstanding Parade in 2022
A time-honored tradition is over as the first of three parades has been scrapped from Holland, Michigan's international festival celebrating its Dutch heritage.
Good Morning America sent Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee to Holland, Michigan to be the grand marshal of the Tulip Time Volksparade in 2019. In 2022, the event no longer exists. Tulip Time will look different as it is still recovering from being completely called off in 2020. Mother Nature didn't get the memo and more than five million tulips of every imaginable color bloomed around the city as they do each year, but all official events were canceled. Holland's mayor implored tourists to stay away from the Lake Michigan town.
The signature event, held in "the Tulip City" since 1929 is back in 2022, minus the very first parade. Traditionally, the Volksparade was the first of three promenades down 8th Street, featuring thundering marching bands, traditional Dutch dancers in full costume and wooden shoes, and slowly disintegrating floats. A lineup of classic cars carrying beauty queens, followed by veterans groups with flags gathering salutes and admiration. From the curb, you will see clowns on bikes, horses escorted by shovel-carrying attendants, children, cops, and all kinds of community businesses and organizations.
Except on Wednesday.
The Volksparade, always seen as kind of a warm-up for the week, has been absorbed into Saturday's Muziek parade. Thursday's Kinderparade, a showcase for area schoolchildren, will remain as is on the schedule. Saturday's Muziek parade, the biggest event of the festival, draws marching bands and spectators from around the state and around the country. Tulip Time is noted as one of the top 20 events in the world by the International Festival and Events Association, and 2018 numbers show more than 355,000 visitors to Tulip Time pumped nearly $50 million into the local economy.
Elton Rohn, an Elton John impersonator headlines the 2022 entertainment lineup, also featuring the Texas Tenors. Two international art exhibitions will come to Holland during the festival. To learn more about the area Dutch heritage, take one of the popular and historical walking tours, back by popular demand.
So, with a few changes, Holland's Tulip Time festival is back on the calendar for 2022. As a homer, I have to encourage you to check it out if you've never been. There was a saying where I grew up: "if you ain't Dutch, you ain't much."