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Siouxland’s Tulip Festival Time, Orange City

30 Apr

The Orange City, Iowa, tulip festival celebrates its Dutch heritage in May of every year in Siouxland. The community has a parade, the residents dress up in Dutch costumes that represent different segments of that historical society and walk down the street in their costumes as an announcer explains the history behind each. Orange City residents young and old participate, performing dances from their “native” land during the day. There are other activities as well as a carnival. It’s a pleasant way to spend half your day or more. In addition, there are some Dutch pastry treats that are made this time of year for visitors to get a taste of Dutch hospitality and tradition.

There used to be demonstration area set up in a small building in town where people could watch wooden shoes being made as well. A resident from the Netherlands moved to Orange City a few decades ago bringing with him his tools for creating wooden shoes which he did for many years until he passed on. As explained by a current resident, the wooden shoes withstood the work in wet fields that people encountered and didn’t rot as did leather shoes. But that demonstration area has disappeared in time.

Also throughout the community, an abundant crop of tulips can be found growing, weather permitting, that is no late frosts which would kill the blooms. And it’s pleasant to stroll the streets, watch the people dressed in traditional garb and enjoying celebrating their heritage by making it come alive for a weekend to share with visitors.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux CIty, Iowa

 

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