In Honor of Tulip Time Festival

I grew up on the coast of West Michigan, not far from Holland, Michigan.  Each year this quaint town carries on its dutch heritage and traditions through a week-long celebration called Tulip Time Festival.  The city seems to burst with life as everyone prepares for busy streets and crowded window shops. Carnivals, “Carni” foods, fireworks, concerts, art exhibits… you name it, it’s there. Believe it or not, students get a few days out of school due to the high participation in the marching bands, parades, and street performing. Tourists from all over the world come to Holland to see the beautifully bloomed Tulips that line every street corner and park.  Their second favorite attraction: dutch dancers.ImageImageImageImage

Dutch Dancers, or “Klompen Dancers,” wear costumes patterned after the traditional dress of the Dutch Provinces. Each costume is handmade by local seamstresses and carefully inspected before it can be worn in the Dutch Dance performances. The dancers perform traditional group dances to strictly traditional Dutch music played over the city speakers for everyone to hear. Here is a video to demonstrate the traditional music and dance:

Schools get rather competitive when it comes to dancing – each student earns points for their school based on their appropriate attire and dancing technique. There are currently over 1,100 Dutch Dancers.

This is a tradition that will surely carry on for many more years.  This year Holland celebrates 77 years of Dutch tradition May 5-12.

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4 thoughts on “In Honor of Tulip Time Festival

  1. adam says:

    I love Tulips!
    I also think that it is interesting to hear different types of traditional music. so different!

  2. kerianne26 says:

    I have never seen that kind of dancing! It’s pretty cool how the dancing incorporates the sound of the wooden shoes on the pavement with the music. It reminds me of slower and less elegant tap dancing. The rhythms where much more simpler then tap dancing rhythms, probably because of the size, weight and shape of the shoe. It was still really interesting to watch, especially as someone with little experience with Dutch culture.

  3. kt5runsing says:

    I hear about this festival all the time, but have never seen it before; one of these days… That’s really cool that a growing town still keep such a small town feel through heretical pride. Thanks for uploading the video, I don’t get the chance to hear or see that style of music and very often; it’s fun.

  4. Ryan Stephens says:

    This is really neat! I have never heard of this festival, and don’t know much about the history of dutch music, but I really enjoy a genre of music called “House.” There are many very popular artists from Holland that are engineers of this house music. It would be really interesting to see how their work compares with that of their past.

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