Ottawa Tulips Turn 70!
This weekend is the start of the Ottawa Tulip Festival, marking 70 years since the start of the tulip legacy in Ottawa.
So how did this whole tulip thing get started anyways? We knew they were a gift from the Dutch back in 1945 – but did you know the whole story?
While in exile from the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, Princess Juliana came to Ottawa in 1940. While she was here she gave birth to daughter Princess Margriet at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, which was temporarily declared extraterritorial by the Government of Canada, to ensure the princess would hold exclusively Dutch, rather than dual nationality. Overseas, the princess’s birth was seen by the Dutch as an important symbol of hope and source of inspiration.
When they returned home in 1945, as a show of thanks, Princess Juliana presented to the people of Canada a number of gifts, including 100,000 tulip bulbs. She continued to send tulips to Canada every year of her reign as Queen. The festival was created in 1953 to showcase the tulips and today, over 1 million bulbs bloom throughout the Tulip Route. Pretty neat!
There’s lots to see and do during the festival including Artists in the Park, Mother’s Day Royal Tea Party, Daily High Tea, Gordon Harrison Painting Workshop, Photography Workshops or just stroll through the Tulip Route – the weather is looking good so far!
For more information go to the official festival website at tulipfestival.ca
The festival runs in various locations in Ottawa – Gatineau, May 8-18, 2015.