Tag Archives: dutch heritage

A wet Tulip Festival Celebration, Orange City

8 Jun

Of the number of years I have now lived in the Siouxland area I can not recall a more rainy day for the Tulip Festival in Orange City. Although I am certain others will easily recall that. One gentleman I talked with this year while attending the festival told me he remembers as a child playing an instrument in the marching band wearing his wooden shoes and trudging through a late snow. Mother Nature can be a bit capricious sometimes.

This time it drizzled and rained almost all of the time. Not heavy, but steady. And with expected storms to roll into the area in the late afternoon and evening, the normally two parade times were combined into one. I stayed around for most of it, but not all. Having never been to the parade in rainy weather I was a bit gamed to see what images I could come away with. The majority of them contained umbrellas. The darker than normal overcast skies helped create a mood but visitors seemed undaunted by the weather.

Sometimes people’s true feelings can show as this couple always enjoyed the festival but not the weather during the Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Saturday, May 20, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The use of so many umbrellas gave me some natural framing devices, as well as the “shade” of the trees focusing a viewer’s eyes on what I want them to see in my images.

Umbrellas could be found everywhere during a wet Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Saturday, May 20, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lastly, I enjoyed being able to some extent single out some of the young dancers of which the girls seemed thrilled to perform and the boys reluctant participants. But the food I had tasted the same, and with so many umbrellas people offered a space while I shot in different locations.A sunny day would not have given me the same results and I didn’t mind a little drizzle and certainly didn’t mind the cooler weather.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa


Faces in Siouxland, Tulip Festival, Orange City

23 May

As many times as I return to the Tulip Festival in Orange City I am always seeing new and more faces. The entire community is involved in a effort to keep the town’s Dutch Heritage alive  and join in the celebration whether dancing traditional folk pieces, performing in various productions or parading through the streets. One always gets a Midwest welcome from smiling faces and people who genuinely seem to enjoy their 3-day holiday.

Faces of the annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday, May 18, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And most of the time entire families are involved in the celebration. I have met and chatted with people that are now adults who remember their childhood participating in children’s activities associated with the parade. And the adults’s parents recall their participation. And now it’s the adult’s children who participate while the adults have moved on to adult enterprises associated with the festival.

Faces of the annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday, May 18, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The costumes worn by the residents representing various cultures within the Dutch heritage whether fisherman, cheese makers, farmers, it gives the visitor a glimpse into the past and a little bit of knowledge of where the ancestors of these people hail from. Plus, the food is not bad. And sweets. Did I mention coffee? It’s just a nice day to enjoy a celebration.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa


Fall arrives in Siouxland, slowly, slowly, Orange City

14 Oct

Fall is a time of year I dearly love. The crisp autumn air, the colors as the leaves turn on the trees, the smell of wood smoke from fire places on chilly mornings and the of hot cider inviting a guest inside a house to chase the chill away. I took a couple quick trips up to Orange City north of where I live and saw the trees just beginning to turn. I hope that it is a slow fall, with the bouquet of colors lasting a couple of weeks or more, and not dropping to the ground overnight. Orange City is home to one of the Tulip Festivals in Iowa. Off the downtown area there is a small park, Windmill Park. It is fun to watch the towns people dressed up in costume and giving visitors a taste of their Dutch Heritage.

I am looking forward to seeing more color in other parts of Northwest Iowa as the time moves forward in hopes of capturing some more of the beauty in this state.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

2014 Siouxland Tulip Time, Orange City

25 May

A week ago Orange City, Iowa, celebrated its annual Tulip Festival over the weekend. Two parades a day Thursday, Friday and Saturday with local marching bands and floats. The residents of Orange City take great pride in their Dutch heritage, dressing in traditional costumes and serving somewhat “authentic” food, as well as providing a carnival. This year was no different. I have been many times over the past few years and always enjoy the spectacle, seeing, most times, a profusion of tulips in bloom around the downtown area along the boulevards and in people’s yards. That is unless cold weather dampens the occasion. This year there were tulips but not as many as previous years as this spring has been unusually cool.

But still, sunny days and traditions and parades, make it a good time.


When the time rolls around again next year, I will be wandering the streets downtown looking for photo opportunities and watching a community genuinely enjoy itself, bringing its heritage to life for its weekend guests who stop by to see for themselves, and if just for a day, to understand a little more about what it means to be Dutch.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Tulip Festival, Orange City

19 May

Another year, another Tulip Festival in Orange City. Even though the weather wreaked havoc on the plants, the Siouxland festival itself, as always, is a delight. A good crowd and the friendly natives meant for a nice weekend outing.

More photographs can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux CIty, Iowa

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