May 7, 2009

Let’s visit the world’s largest tulip festival!

ottawa_parliament_tulips unicorn tours We know that spring has officially arrived in Ottawa when the Canadian Tulip Festival kicks off at the beginning of May. Over 600,000 people from Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia come to Ottawa to look at the tulips and take in a variety of events that are part of the festival. It’s the world’s largest tulip festival!!

In the fall of 1945, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with a thank-you gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs. The gift was given in appreciation of the safe haven that Ottawa provided to the Dutch royal family during when they were exiled during World War II.

grid 1 This gift of international friendship became a springtime attraction a few years later, and the first Canadian Tulip Festival was held in 1953 to coincide with the blooming of the tulips. By 1963, the festival included a display of over two million tulips. In 2002, that number had grown to over three million tulips in bloom throughout Ottawa.

The festival now includes all kinds of activities and events — this year’s festival features performances by Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, speakers including Margaret Atwood and Sir Bob Geldof, an interactive circus school, a free International Pavilion with food from 24 countries (yum, free food!!), and a number of concerts.

And of course, the stars of the show… the tulips!!!


Red tulips at Parliament Hill

tulips par hill flickr    Tulips by the water

tulips edythe trowsse

dows stare ca

tulips canal flickr

Tulips everywhere!!

tulips chelsea smith 3

tulips chelsea smith 4

Purple tulips…

tulips steve gerecke 1   tulips purple flickr

Multi-coloured reddy-pinky-orangey tulips…

tulips red flickr

Red tulips…

tulips flickr 4

Peachy tulips…

tulips flickr 3

Burgundy & white tulips…

tulips white flickr

Some tulip close-ups… 

tulip orange close flickr tulips pink close flickr tulips pink flickr

tulips colourful 2 flickr tulip purple white flickr

Even big wood tulips!!

wood tulips

wood tulip lodestar2

A couple of artsy tulips…

tulip artsy flickr tulips steve gerecke 3

And finally, a picture I took of a tulip in our garden last spring….


This is just a small sampling of the tulips in Ottawa. Do a search for Ottawa Tulip Festival on Flickr or Google Images to see loads more… or come to Ottawa see them for real!! :-)


Unless otherwise indicated, all photos from Flickr


Maureen Stevens said...

tulips are my favorite flowers...they seem to have understated elegance.

mrsben said...

Gee these look familar. They are pretty! Am hoping for the sake of visitors and planners the festivities aren't rained-out this weekend. SMILES -Brenda-

Janis@An Inspired Life said...

LOVE the Tulip Fes...........hopefully we'll get to check it out this weekend..............thanks for posting some beautiful pics!

Anonymous said...

Awesome Awesome colors!! So inspiring!

Janis@An Inspired Life said...

Hi Kelly.....yup I'm an Ottawa girl too. Thanks for following my two have some wonderful posts and fantastic style......I always look forward seeing what you're up to.

Have a super day.

Anonymous said...

I adore tulips! The varieties and colors you posted are SO GORGEOUS. I also like the simple white ones, so classy. I love tulips just as much as peonies---which are about to bloom in my garden!

Michelle said...

So pretty...I've been to Amsterdam several times, but have never been there during tulip season. I didn't know about the one in Ottawa!

Maya@Completely Coastal said...

Wow..., absolutely gorgeous, magical really. I knew about Amsterdam being the capital of tulips but did not know about Canada. Awesome post!

janet said...

the tulips are gorgeous kelly.

As for H&H, when i try to sign in right at the forum it takes me to the main page, so i sign in there but yet it wont appear like i have, but i just click on forum and when it takes me back there i am actually signed in. Hope this makes sense.

Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

Wow - gorgeous photos Kelly. You are doing a great job for Ottawa tourism - keep it up!

Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

Wow Kelly - thanks so much for the mention in your More Ottawa Bloggers ... I am honoured!

Gayle said...

Wow! Totally beautiful!

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