Spring is in full swing for the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa
- Ottawa Travel Guide
- Tuesday, 28 February 2012 16:52
Many residents in Canada's capital city cannot wait for spring to arrive, as the area comes alive with colourful blossoms throughout the public gardens and along city streets. Travellers who are in the area taking tours of Ottawa may notice that the tulip is especially prevalent, since many locals love the vibrant environment these flowers create as the weather starts to warm up. Every May, the city hosts an entire festival devoted to the plant that those who enjoy gardening and outdoor activities may wish to experience. The annual Canadian Tulip Festival will take place from May 4th through the 21st at venues throughout town.
This year, the festival will honour its 60th anniversary with an array of exciting spectacles and demonstrations. Throughout the city, an estimated 3 million tulips bloom during this time, with more than 50 species of the pretty blossom on display.
The history of this event goes back to 1945, when Princess Juliana of the Netherlands bestowed more than 100,000 bulbs on the city in thanks for keeping the royal family safe during World War II. A few years later, the first festival was introduced, eventually expanding into a popular pastime that locals and travellers enjoy. The tulip is now the city's official flower and the event is the largest of its kind in the world.
Last year, guests were given the opportunity to hear some live local music, attend traditional dance performances and simply stroll through many of the parks and gardens to admire the flowers. Some species on display are rare or exclusive to the area, and can be seen in local parks (especially Commissioners Park near Dows Lake, where 300,000 tulips are displayed), on Parliament Hill, at many major attractions and at private homes.
More information will be added about the festivities on the event's official Facebook page, so travellers may want to check back frequently as the show continues to grow. Participating in local events can be a wonderful way to connect with a new locale and explore what is important to the people who call the area home.