Holland Tulip Time is About Music, Dance, Not Just Flowers

What's Holland Tulip Time, you ask? Only one of the loveliest events in Michigan! It's what we locals used to call the Tulip Festival. It's about flowers, imported from the Netherlands, to be sure. But my favorite part is the historical-cultural arts element.

There are three parades, including Volksparade (Folks Parade), Kinderparade (children's parade) and Muziekparade (a music and dance parade). There you experience traditional Dutch "Klompendans." Klompen dancing, called Holzschuhtanz (clog shoe dance) in Germany, is a group Dutch festival dance, It's like square dance. It features hand-offs and partnering, like the Virginia Reel (or the Sir Roger de Coverly as it's called in England). Klompen resembles the Circle Polka, Mazurka and Schottisch, too.

Klompen dancing uses high kicking, almost like Irish dance. Local high school students dress in native regional costume and, of course, their "klompen" (clogs or wooden shoes). The musical trills from the various calliope street organs like the "Gulden Engel," (Golden Angel). Can't get to Holland? Read this article for links to see video presentations. Holland Tulip Time Kicks Off, Just in Time for Mother's Day