The Tulip Festival Steering Committee is pleased to honor Brian De Jong as the parade marshal for 2016, as announced at the Tulip Festival Extravaganza on Wednesday, March 16.
A native and lifelong resident of Orange City, De Jong rode floats and carried cheese in the Dutch Heritage Walk as a young boy.
De Jong’s involvement with the festival since has proven significant, as he’s volunteered in a variety of capacities. He’s carried province flags in the parades, pushed “De Bloomenmarkt” cart in the Dutch Heritage Walk, assisted with the Night Show, Dutch danced, and guided city bus tours.
Photo courtesy of the Sioux County Capital-Democrat.
His longest-standing role as a Tulip Festival volunteer, however, is his time working in the Windmill Information Booth. “My favorite job at Tulip Festival? I loved so many, but if I were to narrow it down, it has to be the Windmill Information Booth,” says De Jong.
De Jong has sold tickets, given directions and answered Tulip Festival questions in the Windmill Information Booth for more than 20 years. “I love meeting the many visitors – finding out where they are from, how they heard about the festival, and seeing the excitement they have while visiting,” he says.
“Brian’s dedication to Tulip Festival is remarkable,” says Mike Hofman, Chairman of the 2016 Steering Committee. “He is a great ambassador for the festival, and we are grateful for the many ways he has served our community’s celebration.”
In addition to riding in each of the festival’s six parades as the 2016 parade marshal, De Jong will continue his role with the Windmill Information Booth, coordinating volunteers and greeting thousands of visitors.