Pella Tulip Time review

windmillThis past weekend was the annual tulip festival in Pella, Iowa! Pella is a short 45-minute drive from Des Moines and a visit to Tulip Time is a must-do for anybody who loves food, flowers and a bit of history (Pella is a Dutch town full of traditional Dutch architecture and traditions). 

Darcie, Lisa, and I (all from the Enrollment Office) headed to Pella on Saturday to enjoy what the town has to offer.   One of the highlights of our day was food. Pella has a couple of great bakeries where you can pick up some delicious Dutch Letters, Dutch Apple Bread and a variety of other pastries and cookies. Pella is also home to some fabulous meat markets – us ladies all bought home-made beef jerky for our husbands.   And, to top things off, Tulip Time has a ton of food vendors. You can get your typical festival foods – corn dogs, funnel cakes, and other fried foods – but you can also get Dutch treats including poffertjes (similar to little pancakes with powdered sugar, strawberries, and whipped cream) and stroopwafels (thin wafers with melted caramel in the middle).

Tulip Time wouldn’t have its name if the town wasn’t full of thousands of beautiful tulips! We loved walking through the city parks to admire the different varieties of tulips which were in full bloom for our visit. The tulips also provided for a great backdrop for pictures – we saw lots of families plopping crying babies (and smiling babies, too, but the crying ones were funny) in front of the tulip beds for photos. 

Pella is also rich in history. We took a tractor tour of the town (if you’re not from Iowa, you may need to know that a tractor tour includes a tractor pulling a large cart behind it with seating for people) and learned all about Pella.  Other popular spots to visit in town include the Klokkenspel, Molengracht Plaza, Scholte House, and Vermeer Windmill.  

Tulip Time is a great event for people of all ages (and trust me, there were people of all ages in attendance!)   I highly recommend a visit to the annual festival.*  

* Author is favorably biased toward Pella after living there for eight years.  But, readers can be assured that Tulip Time is awesome for newcomers as well (just ask Darcie who took this photo)!

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