PELLA, Iowa — This year’s Tulip Time Festival in Pella has been canceled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
“This is the only way that we can keep our visitors safe, our volunteers, our participants, our residents of Pella and anyone else involved with the festival. We feel we must take the warnings of the CDC and the Iowa state department of health very seriously,” said Valerie Van Kooten, executive director of the Pella Historical Society & Museums.
Tulip Time attracts thousands of visitors each year from all over the world to celebrate Dutch heritage. Canceling the festival will impact members of the community who rely on those visitors each year.
“Canceling Tulip Time makes a financial hardship for many of our local nonprofits, our retailers and members of the hospitality industry. Many of these set their budgets for the year based on Tulip Time,” said Cyndi Atkins, chair of the Tulip Time Steering Committee.
Tulip Time has only been canceled on one other occasion in its 85-year history. That was in 1946, according to Van Kooten. She said the people of Pella raised over $100,000 for the war-torn Netherlands that year. Organizers are asking people to make a donation and shop local in the festival’s place.
This year’s festival was scheduled for May 7-9.