Albany Tulip Festival
New York State’s capital city hopes to have 212,000 tulips in bloom during its 64th annual Tulip Festival, set for May 12 and 13, 2012, in Albany’s Washington Park.
In 1948, Erastus Corning II, the mayor at the time, declared the tulip the “official flower of Albany”. Following that proclamation, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands designated the variety of tulip, known as the “Orange Wonder” to be the tulip of Albany. The first tulip fest was held the following year.
Each year, the weekend begins with the Scrubbing of State Street, following the Dutch tradition of scrubbing the streets in preparation of a celebration. Teams of residents fully clad in Hollanders’ attire use soap, brushes, and buckets of water to wash the street in preparation for the festivities.
An eclectic mix of local and international bands will be playing all weekend on several stages. Food vendors will be on hand, offering everything from traditional carnival snacks to international cuisine. Fried dough, lemonade, Souvlaki, and pasta e fagioli are some of the choices for Tulip Fest attendees.
Close to one hundred crafters bring their creations from paintings and toys, to furniture and art work for festival goers to enjoy and buy.
(Photo courtesy of Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau)