The Tulip Festival brings Springtime to the capital

Ana Sofia de la Parra • May 14, 2024


The Tulip festival is here, and it came at full speed in full bloom. From this past weekend til May 20th, tulips will be growing right under our noses, showcasing their vibrant colours, fragrances, and impressive beauty at the Ottawa Commissioners Park around Dow’s Lake.

Numerous activities blossom with this festival, some of them include the Tulip
Market, open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. This market offers tulips and artisanal
merchandise from regional artists, a substantial way to support local markets
while also creating the perfect atmosphere.

Visitors can also make it a full-day adventure by taking the time to enjoy the splendid and varying colourful flowers. What’s more, they’re also showing movies and screenings in the park, which will showcase free children’s matinees at 2 p.m. and more free family-friendly viewings at 7 p.m.

Otherwise, if you are looking for a more private, date night idea, the Blacklight Boardwalk will alight from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night. One Tulip Festival visitor states, “The walk, the view and the market are to die for at this time,” which I agree with.

This activity isn’t just romantic but it’s also a very nice and beautiful walk; I highly
recommend indulging in and enjoying the spring-like weather as well as the sunset and
night sky cross the venue.

Colourful lights covered little markets and reflected on the water of Dow’s Lake, creating the stunning illusion of a magical night. However, some are coming out for the historical alignment of it all: there will be a free 10-minute show at 9 p.m. every night of one of the most notable RCAF missions of the Second World War: Operation Manna.

This event has gone on since 1953, boosting Ottawa’s economy and bringing over $140 million per year. Before digging into this historical festival and its establishment, it’s important to state that the tulip is an international symbol of friendship and peace.

This annual occasion has been a way for the Dutch royalty to thank Canada for its international friendship, as well as their support in the liberation of the Netherlands and Europe in World War II. The Tulip Festival also commemorates the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa during those times, the only royal personage ever to be born in Canada.

Gracefully so, the Royal Family sends 10,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa each year for the festival. This, in addition to the already 10,000 tulips the Dutch embassy gifted to the Civic Hospital as a gratitude gift
for the birth of their princess.

The Tulip Festival is a highly anticipated event, with it being the largest tulip display in the world.
People from around Canada and the world have come to see the delightful and stunning event.


While some have come more than once, as one visitor stated, “we come every year, it’s a nice family tradition,” there are also newcomers who said “It’s my first year in Canada, and the flowers are a refreshing end to the cold winter,” which I think we can all agree on.

Remember the Tulip Festival is here till May 20th, so plan a trip or a stroll through the park and enjoy the beginning of spring and the marvellous display of colours and flora that Ottawa has to offer during this time.

I will definitely be visiting again, and I suggest you take a bud, or find some-buddy to go with and marvel at the grandest display of tulips in the world.

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