Washington festival with a world-class reputation

By Hannah Rainford, 3/17/2022

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival executive director Cindy Verge calls it “a celebration of spring.”

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival annually draws admirers from 85 countries, all flocking to view hundreds of acres of vibrant tulip blooms, and simultaneously providing an economical backbone to northwestern Washington.

“We call it a local festival with a world-class reputation,” Verge said.

The tulip has been a cornerstone of Washington’s infrastructure for decades. The Baltimore Sun reports that Washington Bulb Co. is the largest grower of tulips, daffodils, and irises in the United States and possibly the world. Its fields grow about 90% of the Skagit Valley bulb crop.

Tthe annual festival begins Friday, March 25, with the Tulip Days Basketball Tournament. It opens officially through the “Joy is Blooming 2022 Tulip Festival Kick-off Celebration on March 31, and the festivities conclude on Saturday, April 30.

“It’s based on 250 acres of tulip crops throughout three beautiful gardens, and it reminds us that spring is a season of renewal and celebration,” Verge said.

Keeping local pride at the forefront of its event, even the geographical layout of the Tulip Festival fosters publicizing and exploration of the valley’s lands.

“We aren’t a festival site. You have to go all around our valleys to view the flowers, so we have events and activities in our different cities and towns,” said Verge.

This spring feature takes place about a five-hour drive, or a day trip’s distance, from Spokane.

“It’s just glorious. It gives you this sense of peace and a sense of connection with nature, because here are these beautiful plants, and they’re just growing and blooming. How can you get better than that?” said Verge.

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