2019 Tulip Court Costumes Revealed

This year our Tulip Court costumes come from the fishing village of Marken in Noord-Holland on the Zuiderzee. With the men out to sea fishing, the women, isolated on the island, had lots of time to devote to embellishing their brightly colored costumes with ornate fabrics, trims and embroidery. This year’s costume has a total of 35 different fabrics, laces and other trims and each represents dozens of hours of sewing and other handwork by Tulip Festival volunteers.

At the Extravaganza, the 2019 Tulip Court presented their traveling road show for the first time. The road show, which the festival royalty wrote and will present to various organizations, schools, and residential facilities this spring, tells of the events and attractions at Tulip Festival and gives a detailed overview of their costumes from Marken.


The underskirt is made of a multi-colored striped fabric. The skirt, made of black wool, has a three-inch row of hand shirring around the waist, finished with a red braid on the bottom.

Marken women wore a blue apron with a red-checked top on special occasions, with a wide braid sewn on at the waistband and a second decorative wide braid around the back.

The sleeves of the Marken costume typically have red, white and black stripes like the court’s costume. Over top of the sleeves, the court is wearing two wool vests—the first is made of navy wool, while the red wool vest with a blue, green or purple sateen back is layered over top the navy one. Pinned over top the red vest is the brightly colored floral print called a plastron.

An ornately hand-embroidered navy wool vest, like the one Queen Allison is wearing, was worn by Marken women on special occasions. A total of 200 volunteer hours were dedicated to the embroidery on Queen Allison’s vest. Instead of striped sleeves, Allison’s are bright red with a metallic gold trim. Allison also has the option to wear sleeve covers made of purple taffeta to keep her red sleeves clean while working (or while eating poffertjes).

Queen Allison also has a white linen neckerchief, while the court’s everyday scarf is made of a red checked cotton. Each scarf is personalized with the court member’s initials and embellished with small tassels known as “akertjes” (ay-ker-cheese), made from multiple strings of tiny white beads wrapped around a white or red cord.

The multi-layered cap is made of the same floral print as the plastron and white lace and trims with an embroidered, initialed chinstrap.

Beautifully decorated wooden shoes complete the costume. The dark green klompen were hand painted by a local community volunteer with leaves and roses, with the individual court member’s initials personalizing each pair.

The women of Marken certainly put their leisure time to good use. The results were the richly embellished costumes that have become today’s heirlooms. Our court is honored to be wearing replicas of such treasures.