It’s Tulip Festival time!

by DaniGirl on May 5, 2009 · 3 comments

in Ottawa Family Fun

I’m not much of a Winterlude girl, but I do love Ottawa’s Tulip Festival. (How can I not love a festival that’s mere steps outside my office door, jam-packed with gorgeous subjects for my 365 project?)

102b:365 Tulips!

There’s some cool stuff going on in the Tulip Festival this year, too — truly a little something for everyone. You’re too late for Margaret Atwood (one of my heroes) or Rick Mercer (my old nemesis from year one of the Canadian blog awards), but there are plenty of other intriguing presentations as part of the Celebridée speakers’ series. You can also see an acrobatic troupe or even try out the trapeeze yourself. Or, you can do what I’ve been doing and just wander around and enjoy the vibrant colours that the tulips splash throughout our winter-dulled city.

102:365 Tulip artist

I love playing tour-guide when we have visitors, and I always tell the story of why Ottawa has a tulip festival in the first place. During World War II, the Dutch royal family stayed in Ottawa, and Queen Julianna’s daughter Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa’s Civic Hospital. For her birth, the maternity ward of the Civic (where Tristan and Simon were both born) was declared “Dutch soil”. After the war, the Dutch people sent 100,000 tulips to the city as a thank you, and now more than half a million tulips bloom here each year.

105:365 Tulips and the Peace Tower

This is my favourite tulip festival picture so far. (Hey, we still have more than 10 days to go!) I’m riding on the vintage ferris wheel, circa 1917, and used the bars to frame the National Gallery of Canada. A little something different from your everyday tourist shot of the Gallery! (Just don’t tell my mom that I practically fell out of the chair trying to get a low enough perspective that I didn’t cut off the top of the Gallery. Shhhh!)

105b:365 National Gallery from the ferris wheel

The Canadian (I like to think of it as the Ottawa) Tulip Festival runs through May 18, and there are some reasonably-priced and even free events for a wide range of audiences. It’s worth the effort to come downtown for this one!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca May 5, 2009 at 7:32 pm


We’re hoping to head down this week…

2 Mom on the Go May 6, 2009 at 9:58 am

I always hit the tents and activities but have some trouble convincing Ken and Reid that the tulips, themselves, are worth visiting. Since 1996 – when Ken and I were newly a couple and he did things he thought silly – I’ve only managed to drive by the tulip beds. This year, my sister and her adult daughters are coming. I hope that they want to see the tulips and that they’re still blooming come Victoria Day. Maybe I’ll have to go at lunch.

3 Ari May 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Oh my, those are gorgeous. I LOVE that first picture, the purple is pretty. Wish we had a tulip festival down here!

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