World Renowned Budweiser Clydesdales to Appear at the Orange City Tulip Festival

ClydesdalesHitchThe world-famous Clydesdales will appear in the afternoon parades on Thursday, May 14 and Saturday, May 16 during the 75th annual Orange City Tulip Festival.

The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, are scheduled to make several appearances in the area beginning on 5/14/2015, including two at the Tulip Festival in conjunction with the parade.


The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon at the parade on 5/14/2015 and 5/16/2015 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.  On 5/15/2015, the “Gentle Giants,” as they are often referred to, will participate in the Clay County Speedway races.  The showing begins at 5:00pm in Spencer, IA.


The Clydesdales’ appearance in Orange City is one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches.  Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800’s.  Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.


Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands – or six feet – at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail.  A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.


A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.


Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian.  In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.


The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Mo.; Merrimack, N.H.; and Ft. Collins, Colo.  They also may be viewed at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch, the 300-plus acre Clydesdale breeding farm located near Boonville, Mo.

Tulip Festival Receives Funding for New Light Pole Banners


New Tulip Festival banners hang on 40 light poles in Orange City. The new banners were paid for in part by a grant from the Iowa Tourism Office.


New Tulip Festival promotional banners were recently hung on 40 light poles in Orange City after the Friends of the Festival Foundation received funding from the Iowa Tourism Office.


The new light pole banners were paid for in part by a $5,000 grant from the Iowa Tourism Office.


The banners feature four Tulip Festival scenes, depicting the Dutch heritage and events that highlight the festival each year. Ten banners of each of the four designs were created, and hang along Albany Avenue and 8th Street/Highway 10.


“We extend our sincere gratitude to the Iowa Tourism Office for their significant financial support in the creation of our new light pole banners,” says Juliana Pennings, Tulip Festival and Community Tourism Director. “We feel the new banners are a wonderful representation of the rich culture our community holds and celebrates at Tulip Festival.”


In addition to the financial support of the festival’s new light pole banners, the Iowa Tourism Office actively assists in the promotion of travel to Orange City and Tulip Festival throughout the year.


“We are grateful for our partnership with the Iowa Tourism Office and their continued work in promoting travel to our community and around Iowa,” says Pennings.


Information about the Iowa Tourism Office and the state’s many destinations and events can be found at




This project paid for in part by the Iowa Tourism Office.

2015 Adult Dutch Dance Practice Dates are Set

Dutch Dance_Adult_2010_DC(Photo courtesy of The Sioux County Capital Democrat, Pluim Publishing Inc.)

The Tulip Festival Steering Committee invites adults, college-age and older, to participate in the Adult Dutch Dance portion of this year’s Straat Feest. Both new and returning dancers are welcome and encouraged to join.


Adult Dutch Dance practice dates are set for five Wednesday evenings, beginning in April. The dates include April 8, 15, 22, and 29, as well as May 6. Two Monday practices will also be held on May 4 and May 11. Each practice will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Orange City Town Hall.


“We’d love to have a record number of dancers join us this year,” says Kris McDonald, co-coordinator of the Adult Dutch Dancers. “We’re looking forward to another fun year of dancing!”


Authentic Dutch costumes are required for participants. Participants are encouraged to find their own dancing partner, but assistance will be provided if needed. Questions can be directed to Todd and Kris McDonald at 712-541-3636.

2015 Dutch Costume Exchange Set for April 8

Dutch Costumes

The annual Tulip Festival Dutch costume exchange is set for Wednesday, April 8, 2015. The event will take place from 2 to 6:30 p.m. in the basement of Iowa State Bank, located at 105 Albany Avenue SE in Orange City.


Individuals interested in selling Dutch costumes can bring them to the Orange City Tulip Festival and Chamber office, located at 509 8th Street SE, on Monday, April 6 or Tuesday, April 7.


Sellers should determine the price of their costumes, and are asked to print and fill out this seller’s form. Please note that the Tulip Festival Steering Committee only accepts authentic Dutch costumes for the exchange.


Individuals interested in purchasing Dutch costumes don’t need to have an authentic Dutch costume to sell, and individuals interested in selling authentic Dutch costumes don’t need to purchase others.


A variety of costumes will be available for purchase for children and adults.


Questions about the Dutch costume exchange can be directed to the Tulip Festival office at 712-707-4510.


2015 Tulip Court Costumes Revealed

2015TulipCourtQueen Cara Venema and her royal Court wearing their authentic costumes from mid- to late 19th century Friesland.

Queen Cara and her Court will wear the authentic dress from mid- to late 19th century Friesland for the 2015 Tulip Festival, as revealed at the Tulip Festival Extravaganza on March 18. This is the first time the Friesland costume from the era has been introduced at Tulip Festival.

Members of the 2015 Tulip Court are Queen Cara Venema, daughter of Dan and Tonya Venema; Jennifer Droog, daughter of Rick and Sue Droog; Sydney Huizenga, daughter of Darren and Dawn Huizenga; Micah Vande Vegte, daughter of Gary and Amy Vande Vegte; and Emily Wielenga, daughter of Kevin and Dixie Wielenga.

The costumes include voluminous, ankle-length skirts and fitted jackets that feature a v-shaped overlay, fitting over the apron. The Court members’ skirts and jackets are made from a cotton calico fabric, and Queen Cara’s are made of an eggplant-colored satin. The white aprons and shawls worn by the royal Court are lace-edged and feature hand-embroidered, authentic Dutch motifs. Queen Cara’s apron is made of a fine black lace and her shawl is fine white lace edged in lace trim.

The hats worn by the 2015 festival royalty are made of fine white lace that was pleated, starched and sewn to a crown of similar lace. Two gold filigree decorations adorn the Court members’ hats from the year 1900, while Queen Cara’s hat from the year 1860 is embellished with two gold hatpins and four gold filigree decorations.

The Friesland dress is accessorized with gold teardrop earrings, necklaces, bracelets and velvet purses that feature hand-beaded work.


2015 Tulip Festival Parade Marshal Introduced


The Tulip Festival Steering Committee is pleased to honor Harley Kleinwolterink as the parade marshal for the 75th annual Tulip Festival, as introduced at the 2015 Tulip Festival Extravaganza on March 18.

A trained carpenter, Kleinwolterink has served the festival for over 20 years through the construction and refurbishing of several parade entries and floats.

Kleinwolterink’s first Tulip Festival project was the construction of the scissors-sharpening cart in the mid-1980s. The cart continues to be pushed in each parade during the Dutch Heritage Walk.

Utilizing his innate craftsmanship, Kleinwolterink has led and assisted with the construction and refurbishing of several floats seen in Tulip Festival parades, belonging to both the festival and First Reformed Church. His work continues in 2015 as he is assisting with the construction of a float celebrating the 75th year of Tulip Festival.

“Harley’s commitment to creating unique and prestigious floats has greatly enhanced the parades and experience offered to community members and visitors,” says Arlyn Schaap, co-chairman of the Steering Committee. “We are so grateful for his dedication to our celebration.”

*You can read more about Kleinwolterink and his work with the float celebrating the 75th year of Tulip Festival in this Sioux City Journal article.

2015 Tulip Festival Artwork Unveiled

Tulip Festival Artwork 2015 (2)The commissioned art piece by local artist John E. Vander Stelt was unveiled at the 2015 Tulip Festival Extravaganza on March 18.

The oil painting, entitled “A Faithful Walk,” features a father and son in the foreground, both of whom are wearing clothing from the province of Volendam. The father is carrying buckets of water with the assistance of a traditional yoke, while his son takes a curious peek inside a bucket.

“I wanted to paint a scene that would take a glimpse into the heritage of the community and of the festival,” says Vander Stelt.

The painting also features a Dutch windmill in the distance, highlighted by a recent sunset, and a long path on which the father and son are standing.

“The winding path connects and leads from the present where the father and son stand, to the past with roots in the Netherlands,” Vander Stelt describes.

Two options of prints of the work are available for purchase at the Tulip Festival office. The first option is a traditional print on sterling paper, 75 of which are signed and numbered by Vander Stelt. The paper is sized at 22”x22” and the print at 18”x 18.” The signed prints are $50 each and the unsigned prints are $30 each. Print number 1/75 will be framed and auctioned off at the grand opening of Stadscentrum later this spring.

A canvas print of the work, sized at either 24”x 24” for $275 or 30”x 30″ for $325 (plus shipping/handling), can also be ordered through through the Tulip Festival office.

Prints of the work can be ordered by calling the Tulip Festival office at 712-707-4510.

The original art piece, sized at 30”x 30,” will be on display at Stadscentrum during Tulip Festival.

Former Tulip Queens and Court Members: RSVP for Tulip Festival Royalty Brunch 2015


All former Tulip Queens and Court members are invited to the 2015 Royalty Brunch on Saturday, May 16. Attendees will have the opportunity to reminisce with Tulip Queens and Court members while enjoying brunch and entertainment. Following the event, attendees will head downtown to walk in the Mode Show and ride the Queen’s Birthday Float.

Event Details:
Saturday, May 16 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Located at Living Water Community Church in Orange City

Cost is $15 (paid at the door)







2015 Tulip Festival Extravaganza to be Held March 18


The date for the annual Tulip Festival Extravaganza has been set for Wednesday, March 18. The event will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Prairie Winds Event Center, and will feature a luncheon and program.


The province of Queen Cara Venema and her royal Court’s costumes will be revealed, and they will present their traveling road show. In addition, the Tulip Festival Steering Committee will introduce the 2015 Parade Marshal.


The commissioned art piece by local artist John E. Vander Stelt will also be unveiled at the Extravaganza. Prints of the piece will be available following the event, a limited number of which will be signed by Vander Stelt.


“We are looking forward to the Extravaganza with great anticipation,” says Arlyn Schaap, co-chairman of the Steering Committee. “The event is a wonderful way to begin the spring activities for the festival.”


Tickets for the event are $15 each through March 6, and $20 each beginning March 7. Tickets can be purchased at the Tulip Festival/Chamber of Commerce office.




Craft Show Introduced for 2015 Tulip Festival


The Tulip Festival Steering Committee is pleased to announce that a craft show will be added to this year’s list of events during the festival. The craft show will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, in the basement of Iowa State Bank.


“We’re excited to add a craft show to the festival, as it will add a unique aspect to our many events and attractions for visitors and community members to enjoy,” says Bea Schaap, co-chairperson of the Steering Committee.


Individuals who create handmade, original crafts are invited to apply for the craft show, and are encouraged to include Dutch items as a portion of their items to sell. Only handmade, original items will be accepted into the show, and no food or beverage items will be accepted.


Applications for the craft show are available on the festival’s website, and are open until March 15 or until the booths are full. Applications from individuals meeting the craft show requirements will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Individuals accepted will be notified by April 1, and an entry fee of $35 will be due by April 30 following acceptance. Questions can be directed to the Tulip Festival office at 712-707-4510.