Spring Tour

Spend the day enjoying Dutch culture, crafts, cuisine, and entertainment at the annual spring tulip festival in Orange City, Iowa.

Friday, May 17, 2024
7:30 am – 7:45 pm
Tour starts at Lithuanian Bakery, 7427 Pacific Street, Omaha, NE
$125 per person

Price includes coach transportation, driver gratuity, attraction admissions, reserved seating for street events, and lunch ticket

Tour reservation deadline April 16, 2024

Highlights: Dutch Dozen dance performance - Reserved bleacher seating for Straat Feest (street dancers), street scrubbing and Volksparade - Wooden shoe carving demonstration - Dutch Museum and flower show - Straatmarket (street shopping) - Festival craft and quilt show - Windmill Park and tulips - Horse drawn trolley tour

Spend an enjoyable day at the annual tulip festival in Orange City, Iowa. The festival started in 1936 and has become one of the most popular events in northwest Iowa. Over fifty thousand tulips fill the community each year during the celebration of Dutch heritage. Many of the tulips are imported from Holland and are planted in the city each year including in the popular Windmill Park.

We depart Council Bluffs at 7:30 am and arrive in Orange City at 10:15 am. Upon arrival we will visit the heart of the festival in the downtown area. You will have a little time to explore the festival venues before taking your reserved bleacher seat for the Dutch Grandstand Show on Orange City’s main street. It is a wonderful street event celebrating Orange City’s Dutch heritage. The fashion show displays authentic and varied Dutch attire from the Netherlands. Costumed participants of all ages fill the streets to showcase their heritage by performing traditional Dutch dances. Carrying on a Dutch tradition, the street inspectors next check the streets for cleanliness in anticipation of the Tulip Queen’s arrival. Boys and men throw buckets of water while girls and women follow with brooms to scrub the streets, ensuring that the streets are spotless for the queen. The Volksparade, with marching bands and colorful floats, follows the cleaning. Several of the festival floats are Dutch themed with riders wearing authentic Dutch costumes.

After the parade, you will have over two hours to explore the various Dutch attractions and venue. Do not miss a performance by the Dutch Dozen dance group. Formed in 1947, this group of 12 young women and 12 young men provide a colorful and melodious journey through old Holland. The Dutch Dozen members wear traditional Dutch costumes and wooden shoes. Most of the songs are in the Dutch language.

Other afternoon options include exploring the Tulip Festival Craft Show. Only handmade original items made by talented crafters are allowed in the show. Shop for Dutch souvenirs or discover the art of making wooden shoes with a carving demonstration. Nearby is the Dutch American Heritage Museum. The museum includes antiques from Holland, traditional Dutch clothing, and a one room schoolhouse. Enjoy a horse drawn trolley tour of downtown; the trolley guide provides interesting facts and stories about Orange City, its sites, and its settlers. Across from the trolley station is the Festival Quilt and Flower Show. View nearly 175 handmade quilts and learn about the history of quilting. The flower show features 1000 tulips in one of a kind arrangements.  More tulips can be found at Windmill Park. Enjoy the music of Orange City’s 1909 Dutch street organ or catch a bicycle driven pedicab ride down the main street. Dinner will be on your own tonight. Explore the many street vendors that offer a variety of Dutch food items. The coach will depart for Omaha at 5:00 pm and return at 7:45 pm.

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