A Quick Guide to the 2016 Canadian Tulip Festival
The 71st edition of the Canadian Tulip Festival takes place at various venues and parks in Ottawa-Gatineau between Thursday, May 12, and Monday, May 23, 2016. The Canadian Tulip Festival is one of the Ottawa’s most well-known events, with bright and vibrant tulips blanketing many locations around the city. More than a festival honouring the beauty of spring revival, the Tulip Festival is a celebration of international unity, friendship, and kindness. With music, dancing, fireworks, and so much more, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy!
The Tulip Legacy
Ottawa is renowned for its blossoming tulips, but do you know the backstory? During WWII, the Dutch Royal family were evacuated from the Netherlands to England following the Nazi invasion. In 1940, Princess Juliana and her family came to Canada and found safe harbour at Stornoway, the official residence of the Leader of the Opposition here in Ottawa.
On January 19, 1943, Princess Margriet was born at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. The Government of Canada temporarily declared the hospital “extraterritorial” for a time, meaning it was not designated Canadian soil. This declaration ensured Princess Margriet who hold Dutch nationality exclusively, allowing her to remain in the line of succession for the throne. Princess Margriet’s birth resonated as a symbol of hope to the Dutch population, still under Nazi siege.
On May 2, 1945, Princess Juliana and her family returned to the liberated Netherlands. The princess sent many gifts to the Canadian people as a demonstration of gratitude, including 100,000 tulip bulbs. Juliana – who became Queen of the Netherlands in 1948 – continued the tradition every year until she left the throne in 1980.
Now, more than one million tulips bloom along the Tulip Route in Ottawa.
What’s On This Year
The festival kicks off with a fireworks display at Lansdowne Park on opening night, 9 pm. Another fireworks display will happen on May 22 at 9 pm at Dow’s Lake. This year, the festival has two main locations. Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park is home to many indoor activities – events, art displays, indoor live performances, cuisine, and much more. Commissioners Park (next to Dow’s Lake) is the traditional host, and the place to see beautiful tulip blooms in a range of colours. Here are some of the fun events on the docket:
- WWII battle reenactment – May 14-15 – Great Lawn, Lansdowne Park
- Doo Doo the Clown – Daily Shows May 14-23
- Gordon Harrison Tulip Painting Workshop – May 14-15 ($175 + HST)
- Janice Street Tulip Photography Workshop – May 21-22 ($75)
- Music at the Aberdeen Tulip Pavilion – daily
- Buskers in the Park – daily
- Face Painting Kiosks – daily at Aberdeen Tulip Pavilion and Commissioners Park
The Canadian Tulip Festival is just one of the many fantastic events that Ottawa residents get to enjoy each year. If you want to buy a home in Ottawa, The Geoff & Bobbie Team is here to help! We are the Ottawa real estate pros.