A Royal Tradition: Canadian Tulip Festival 2018

May 12, 2018




Can you smell it? It’s that time of year again — Canadian Tulip Festival time!


Since 1953, the Canadian Tulip Festival (dubbed “Canada’s most colourful festival” by the organizers) has been taking over the City of Ottawa. The tulip is Ottawa’s official flower and an international symbol of peace and friendship.


From May 11 to May 21, 2018, more than a million tulips in over 100 varieties will fill the city. The Ottawa tulips are a must-see sight for Canadians and visitors alike.


At Commissioner’s Park – Dows Lake, visitors can tour a one-kilometre stretch of tulip beds and learn their history with guided tours. This is also where the fireworks display will be on the May Long Weekend.


At Lansdowne Park, handmade Canadian and international tulip art will be on display next to photography, floral installations, workshops, cultural displays, international stage performances, and children’s activities.


At the ByWard Market, tiptoe through the tulips (literally) with a garden of urban tulip art, promotions, and activities curated by artist Monique Martin.


Local chefs at Zibi Gatineau are preparing tulip-inspired treats.


And be sure to visit Garden Promenade to see the flowers at the capital.


The Canadian Tulip Festival is one of the largest events of its kind in the world. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and it all started with a princess.


During the Second World War, the German military invaded the Netherlands. Members of the Dutch royal family were evacuated to the U.K., but England wasn’t safe either with the threat of bombing raids. Princess Juliana, the next in line to the Dutch throne, and her daughters Princesses Beatrice and Irene came to Canada for safety and lived in Ottawa for the next five years.


While in Canada, Princess Juliana had another daughter, Princess Margriet. She gave birth at Ottawa’s Civic Hospital. The Government of Canada temporarily declared her place of birth as outside of Canadian territory so Margriet could hold Dutch citizenship and still be eligible for the throne.


When she returned home, Princess Juliana sent a gift of 100,000 Dutch tulip bulbs to Canada. The next year she sent 20,500. Each year after, she continued to send thousands of tulips, a tradition that continues to this day. That gift stemmed the legacy of the Canadian Tulip Festival.


Learn more about the Canadian Tulip Festival and the 2018 program at http://www.tulipfestival.ca.


Will you be attending this year’s festival, or have you attended one in the past? Let us know on social media. We’re @KerrsCandy on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Snack on some Kerr’s Candy while you’re enjoying the tulip displays. See all our products at www.kerrs.com.