PELLA, Iowa — The tulips are blooming in Pella. But this year’s Tulip Time is cancelled due to COVID-19. However, with the tulips still in bloom, some are still coming to see the flowers.
“We had to cancel Tulip Time back in late March when this whole thing hit,” said Mayor Don DeWaard. Tulip Time is obviously a great festival for the City of Pella, which brings in a ton of people. From an economic standpoint, it’s a huge loss for us to have to cancel Tulip Time.”
The governor is now allowing restaurants in 77 counties to reopen. That means visitors to Pella can dine in, but they still need to adhere to rules of social distancing. One restaurant that will be reopening its dining room is Dutch Fix. Since March, it has been closed and operating its small drive-through location on the west end of town.
“I would say that we welcome them to come and we just ask people to be respectful of the guidelines,” said Valerie Bandstra, co-owner of Dutch Fix in Pella. “We are excited people want to be here and we can tell that people are just so ready to get out and so we’re excited to host them. We just really emphasize that people do follow the rules.”
“It’s a fine line. Obviously, safety and health of our population is most important but we also have a whole lot of businesses that are hurting bad,” said Mayor DeWaard. “Especially now with the governor granting restaurants in this county the ability to open up, we’re anticipating that there will be some bigger crowds again this weekend. We talked about it with our police department, and they are constantly monitoring the areas where we expect more people.”
Despite coming through a month or so of business being down, the owner of Dutch Fix applauds the governor.
“We really just appreciate what our leaders are doing,” said Bandstra. “I would say especially the governor. She’s in a really hard spot and I feel like during this whole process she’s really used incredibly good judgment.”
Mayor DeWaard wants people to know they don’t have to come all the way to Pella. The community is offering online tours of the flowers.