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tulip time festival

headshot of Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga
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Today on Stateside, tensions surrounding reopening Michigan's economy are deepening. Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga fills us in on his concerns and priorities. And, we take a look at how the cancelation of the annual Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan could impact the local economy. 

Erik Cooper / Flickr

For more than 90 years, the city of Holland has been celebrating its Dutch heritage with the annual Tulip Time festival. A sea of tulips as well as activities like parades draws hundreds of thousands of attendees every year. But thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, there will be no Tulip Time this year. So what happens when a city's biggest annual event gets canceled?

red and orange tulips in front of windmill in holland michigan
City of Holland

Today on Stateside, Republicans in the Michigan Senate want counties to lose some jail funding if they limit law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials. We get reaction from Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. Plus, it is the 90th annual Tulip Time festival in Holland. We hear about how tulips came to be a symbol of the city's Dutch heritage.

wooden shoes
Pixabay

Two pairs of oversized wooden shoes that were displayed as part of an art competition for the annual Tulip Time Festival in Michigan have been stolen.

Workers in Holland applying a special ice to the tulip beds.
YouTube screen grab / City of Holland

Early tulip blooms have hampered the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan in past years.

Sometimes it gets so bad that locals simply call it "Stemfest."

This year's festival is being held from May 7 through May 14, and the city of Holland has come up with a way to guarantee that visitors will be greeted with vibrant petals.

Watch below:

Bill Schuette

Stem Fest, no more — this year's Tulip Time festival in Holland is in full bloom.

Last year, the annual flower festival, which brings in hundreds of thousands of tulips and tulip fans alike, notoriously delivered more stems than petals. But Holland's flora is back in action, and Instagram users shared their photos from the  fest.

Andrea Smith

Organizers of Holland’s Tulip Time festival are having a little fun with the fact the usual draw - million of blooming tulips - will be missing this year.

In Holland, you hear some worries about it almost every year. But this year it was especially bad.

“The weather’s been so warm. When tulips were blooming on St. Patrick’s Day we all looked at each other and said 'we’ll have nothing by the festival.”

Luckily there are some tulip blooms left; about 30-percent Auwerda estimates.

 “The locals have always called it a stemfest when there’s not a lot of tulips. And so we thought, let’s just do a little tongue in check and have a little fun with it.”

They made official “Stemfest 2012” t-shirts and buttons. Demand was so high for the original 300 stemfest t-shirts, they had to stop taking online orders shortly after they hit the shelves Thursday. 

Auwerda says they’ve reordered the shirts. They're expected to restock Tuesday, but she can't promise they'll have enough to sell online. (I read other businesses are selling unofficial versions.) 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Many of the more than six million tulips planted in Holland are beginning to bloom already…five weeks before the city’s Tulip Time Festival.

“There’s some that are in full bloom right now, especially if it’s close to concrete or a building where they get a lot of sun,” Tulip Time Festival’s executive director Gwen Auwerda said. “But many of the parks have not seen blossoms; they’re budded but no blossoms.” (You can keep tabs on progress of the tulips blooming here.)