Well, I guess this post falls under the category of "better late than never", as my town's annual tulip festival ended this past weekend. I took several pictures from two of the parades and from the Dutch dancing routines. Although there weren't as many tulips in bloom as everyone would have liked, the show went on!
Above are some employees from the locally-based Hudsonville Dairy, famous for ice cream. The gentlemen put on a quite an entertaining drill!
A drill of a different sort:
Employees of the local library in formation with their book carts!
Dutch dancers twirling around.
You don't have to be Dutch to do Dutch dancing! The couple above are foreign exchange students at our daughter's high school - he is from Turkey and she is from Serbia. Considerable time and expense is involved for learning the dance moves and for obtaining an official costume, so I admired these two for wanting to participate. I hope that they'll fondly remember this experience when they reflect back on their stay in the US.
Another portion of the Dutch dance routine. Hundreds of dancers from local high schools dance at a time around the perimeter of a city park.
When you live close to the end of a parade route, as we do, this is what you see every year at the start of the Kinderparade:
A sea of school buses pull up to park on our block after dropping the kids off at the beginning of the parade route. However, this doesn't give the West Ottawa school district district the right to block our neighbors' driveway. They also blocked another neighbor's driveway, leaving her stuck as she tried to make her way back to her house after running an errand. Fortunately we were home, on our way to the parade, so we told her to go ahead and park in our driveway. In both cases, there was room for the bus in question to park without blocking a driveway.
Oh well, at least the Kinderparade kids are always a hit:
Each local school that participates decides upon a theme related to some aspect of the "real" Holland, such as art, holidays and foods. Kids and teachers alike dress in Dutch costumes.
Various marching bands perform, although not in costume, of course. However, the marching band from the town's main high school has a distinctive look:
Yes, those are wooden shoes on their feet!
A certain local high school is too small to have a marching band, so instead they have an ultra-cool jazz band!
And thus another tulip festival has come and gone. Hopefully the tulips will cooperate better next year, but we learned that it's an enjoyable time even without many tulips in bloom.