Canadian Tulip Festival
Yes, Canada, spring does eventually arrive even in your northern climes. A clear sign? The annual Canadian Tulip Festival, set for May 6 through 23, 2011, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Over one million tulips in more than 50 varieties will bring a kaleidoscope of color throughout the National Capital Region. The highest concentration tulips – some 300,000, can be found in Commissioners Park.
The festival, now in its 59th year, has grown to become the largest Tulip Festival in the world. The tulip has also become Ottawa’s official flower, making Ottawa the tulip capital of the North America.
In the fall of 1945, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs. The gift was in appreciation of the safe haven that members of Holland’s exiled royal family received during the World War II in Ottawa, and in recognition of the role which Canadian troops played in the liberation of the Netherlands.
Through the 1990s and into the new millennium, the Canadian Tulip Festival celebrated the Tulip as a symbol of Peace and Friendship creating an international bond by collaborating with Friendship countries, which include the Netherlands, Turkey, France, Japan, the United States, Great Britain and Australia.
To celebrate its roots of International Friendship, the Canadian Tulip Festival created the International Pavilion in Major’s Hill Park and became the “festival without fences” with all park events offering free admission. The International Pavilion provides a venue for over 20 partnering embassies and local cultural groups to showcase their wares and origins to tourists and festival-goers alike.
(Photo courtesy of Canadian Tulip Festival)