Northbrook, IL (PressExposure) May 09, 2009 -- Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan is the official celebration of one of the largest Dutch ethnic events in the Midwest United States. Residents of Holland proudly celebrate their Dutch heritage with a famous American festival known as Tulip Time.
Tourists were lucky to be in Holland, Michigan this year to participate in the celebration of eightieth anniversary of the Tulip Time Festival Parade with over 500,000 people in attendance. It was named "Best Small Town Festival" by Readers Digest, listed among the "Top 100 Events in North America" by ABA, and featured in the book Amazing Places to Go in North America.
This year, the first Tulip Time parade (Volksparade) was held on May 6, the second (Kinderparade) on May 7, and last (Muziekparade, which we visited) on May 9.
Muziekparade started almost on time. I was amazed with the participation of numerous marching units - around 60.
Even though the population of Holland around 35,000 residents, the Meijer Muziekparade could be compared with parades of large cities from my point of view. The parade was so well organized that it captured attention of bystanders sitting and staying along street.
There were antique automobiles followed by horses, fire department, police, military academy, Michigan Air National Guard, Holland Hockey Association, United States Marine Corps band, and others. Tulips were displayed on most of the cars and trucks and carried in bouquets by participants.
Some of the parade participants included US Senator Carl Levin, US Representative Pete Hoekstra, State Senators Wayne Kuipers and Patricia Birkholz, and Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land, as well as other notables. Some of came from different states of the USA to participate in the Meijer Muziekparade, and all appeared honored to participate.
However, some of the most unforgettable participants who were hailed by the crowds may not even be known by name. While taking pictures, I heard from distance a loud applause - louder than any applause up to that time. Soon, I noticed a small group in military uniform. It was the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 73, presented by seven marching men and one in a wheelchair. The spectators showered them with enthusiastic applause.
It was a last day of Tulips Time Festival with a Meijer Muziekparade. This festival is for people who love flowers and enjoy seeing dance performed in wooden shoes.
It was really a spectacular parade. Units represented numerous organizations, schools, bands, dancing clubs, wagons, small and large businesses, different clubs, or social groups.