How to have the Pella tulips all to yourself
Have you ever wanted the Pella tulips all to yourself? No crowds, no other visitors… just you and the tulips?
That’s what I set out to do during the spring of 2021. I’ve been to Pella many times. During the festival, before, as well as after the festival. Weekends. Weekdays. You name it. But this time, I’m going to have them to myself.
So I set the alarm for 2:30 am. Yes, 2:30 am on a Sunday morning.
I left the house at 3:00 am and started the forty-five-minute drive to Pella. Upon arrival, I found an empty Central Park, which is what I wanted and expected. I wandered the park getting various photos of the tulips and enjoying the quiet and calmness. The only person who I came close to was a local police car, driving around the town square on their normal patrol.
Otherwise, I had the place to myself until just before sunrise at 6 am. Of course, when I first posted these photos online, the most frequent question was “So you were first in line at the bakery, right?” Unfortunately, no – I didn’t even stop at the bakery this time. I was focused on the tulips for as long as I could.
When is the next Tulip Festival in Pella, Iowa?
May 4, 5, and 6, 2023
Check out the Visit Pella Tulip Time Page for all the details, schedules, and maps.
What’s the best way to know the progress of the tulips in Pella, Iowa?
- The City of Pella provides weekly updates to their Bloom Status Map. It shows you where the flower beds are located and what the status of each bed is, noting if they are showing color or in bloom.
- Follow the Facebook page for Pella Community Services. Starting April 13th, they will have facebook live sessions called “Coffee Time with Tulips” once a week where they take you on live tours of the flower beds to see the progress
When did the Tulip Festival start in Pella, Iowa?
Pella first started celebrating their annual tulip festival in 1935. The original festival didn’t feature any tulips (other than some four-foot tall wooden tulips. The next year, they began planting thousands of tulips and have continued each year.