Hello! With our daughter home from college last week, I got a little behind on Tulip Time blogging. But with her back at school this week, no time like the present to do a post from the last day of the festival.
The tulip festival features three parades, and the largest of the three, the Muziek (Music) Parade, is on the last day. In previous years, it seemed like this event has been marred by poor weather, but not so this past Saturday! It was sunny and in the 60's, so a large, festive crowd of spectators was on hand. After the very harsh winter we had endured, you could sense everyone was happy to be outdoors on such a nice day, with it finally looking and feeling like spring!
Photos of the parade follow:
Above, all the way from Philadelphia, a group of Mummers strut their stuff. From living near that city for several years, my husband and I knew about the Mummers and the big parade they put on every New Year's Day. We weren't sure how many other spectators at our parade knew who they were, so my husband and I yelled out very specific things to them, like the area in which we had lived and the street their parade travels. Got a thumbs up from one of the Mummers for our efforts.
The local high school marching band, wearing their customary wooden shoes:
I always give them a huge amount of credit for marching in that footwear!
Town criers, some of whom had come from other countries to participate in a competition later on the day:
I liked the bagpipes the fellow in front was playing. I don't know why, but the town criers typically dress as if it's the 1700 or 1800's. I like that though. Criers from Ontario, Canada, ended up winning the awards in the competition. Not sure how many towns in the US have their own town criers, but around here, both Holland and Saugatuck do!
Next up, the best college mascot around:
Sparty, the mascot of Michigan State University! Above, Sparty is giving the thumbs down in response to some people who yelled "Go Blue!" - an obvious reference to MSU's in-state rivals, the University of Michigan. As soon as we heard that, my husband, daughter and I immediately took up MSU's "Go Green! Go White!" chant. We were rewarded with a big thumbs up from Sparty!
The Muziek Parade features a lot of music,of course. Most of it is in the form of high school marching bands from around the state and even a few from out of state. But the coolest high school band is different from the rest:
The Petoskey Steel Drum Band. They first popped up in the Muziek Parade a few years back and are a lot of fun to watch! Cool island vibe, and it always look like they have a good time performing.
They were the last act in the parade, so after they cruised on by we went home. Tulip Time was nearly over except for the last Dutch Dance performance:
Always fun to see the variety of Dutch folk costumes at this event!
One last photo, to show off the signature flower of the festival:
A stand of tulips at the Window on the Waterfront Park. The photo doesn't do them justice, and this is only one of several such tulip plantings in the park. It's well worth a visit if you're in the area.
For although Tulip Time is now over, there's still plenty of tulips to view. Thanks to our harsh winter, blooming times were delayed. It must have been disappointing to those who came to the festival hoping to see plenty of flowers. We locals, however, will get to see all the tulips we want - without the crowds of festival goers around.