Tulip Time was the brainchild of Miss Lida Rogers of the 1927 Holland Women's Literary Club. Because of the area's close ties to the Netherlands, Miss Rogers suggested that the town embrace that bond by planting tulips in every yard. She also proposed that a day be set aside for a festival to coincide with the tulips' blooming. In 1928, the town Mayor purchased 100,000 bulbs from the Netherlands, available to Holland residents for a penny apiece, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Festival has been an annual event since, with the exception of the years during World War II, both out of necessity and so that the town could send support overseas during the War. Amsterdam even embraced their American counterpart and showed their appreciation of the town's Dutch tradition and support through World War II, by sending a wonderful barrel organ as a gift. The organ has been cared for and renovated and entertains visitors during Tulip Time and through the tourist season to this day.
Over the years, the event has settled into a crowd-pleasing celebration that includes flowers, parades, authentic cultural elements, Klompen dancing, and music. More than 80 years have passed since the Festival's humble beginnings, and there is no end in sight for this wonderful celebration of tradition, flowers, and family fun!