The annual Orange City Tulip Festival Extravaganza was held Wednesday, March 22, at Prairie Winds Event Center. The event featured a luncheon and program during which the costumes for the 2023 Tulip Queen and Court were revealed and the 2023 parade marshal was introduced.
The Tulip Festival Steering Committee is pleased to honor Bert and Peggy Aarsen as the parade marshals for the 82nd annual event. Bert was born in Ede, Netherlands and his family immigrated to Orange City in 1955 when he was just 5 years old. He graduated from MOC High School in 1968 and attended Northwestern College for one year, Iowa State for 1.5 years, and enlisted in the Air Force where he served for 3 years. He finished his college education at the University of Oklahoma.
Peggy was born in Metz, France to a French mother and a US Air Force father. She lived in France and Germany for 17 years. They moved to Oklahoma and she attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BA in French. After college, they moved to Dallas, Texas where they were married in 1978. They have one son, Nicholas, and three grandsons.
Bert worked for Deloitte & Touche where he spent 3 years working for their Amsterdam office. They worked and lived in the Netherlands from 1986 through 1989. They returned to Dallas, Texas where they lived and worked for 9 years before they moved to Orange City. In Orange City, Bert served as the CFO for Vogel Paint, Inc. They later retired and now live in Arnolds Park, Iowa
Bert and Peggy have previously served on the Tulip Festival Steering Committee for 5 years and have volunteered in various capacities with the Tulip Festival for nearly 25 years. Some ways they have served include Dutch dancing for 20+ years, manning the information booth, walking in the Mode Show, giving Vogel Old Mill tours, volunteering at Art Burst, announcing parades, and driving floats. They also helped build the Queen’s Birthday Float and the Boy Who Held Back the Sea float.