Tulip Mania is Here!

For the first time this year I actually had to open a window in my office to cool it down while I worked. April is finally here, and in Washington State that means it’s tulip time! I hear there is a little country in Europe that also gets excited about tulips, but the real celebration is here in Skagit County!

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a big deal here, with over one million visitors showing up each year. There are fields of tulips for commercial sales, but also beautiful tulip gardens to stroll through, contests to enter, and all sorts of activities. But the star is always the tulip, and it comes in all colors.

Tulips in Late Afternoon, RoozenGaarde Tulip Farm, Mt. Vernon, Washington

Tulips glow in the warm light of late afternoon, at the RoozenGaarde Tulip Farm, Mt. Vernon, Washington.

So why do we have tulips here in Washington State? Well, back in 1947, William Roozen moved here from Holland and worked on local farms until he started his own little tulip farm on five acres. It seems the Roozen family had been raising tulips in Holland since the mid 1700s, so he had some history with the tulip. Mr. Roozen bought the Washington Bulb Company and expanded it to become the largest tulip bulb grower in the country. Over time, other tulip growers, typically emigrating from the Netherlands, have started their own tulip farms in Western Washington.

Overachiever, RoozenGaarde tulip farm, Mt. Vernon, Washington

Brightly colored tulips dominate the landscape each spring at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, near Mount Vernon, Washington.

Have you ever heard the story of the original tulip mania? It’s a story everyone should learn before investing their first dollar in anything.

Way back in the 1600s in Holland, folks started investing in tulip bulbs to the point where prices reached astronomical heights, creating what is probably the first investment bubble. The price of a single bulb went for as much as 10 times people’s annual income. Well, naturally that didn’t last, and a lot of people lost their money. It wasn’t all that different from the last housing bubble, with the exception that it’s a lot harder to live in a tulip bulb than in a house. Until the house gets repossessed, that is. Then it’s about the same.

Tulip mania, RoozenGaarde tulip farm, Mt. Vernon, Washington

Multiple varieties of tulips bloom at the RoozenGaarde tulip farm, Mt. Vernon, Washington.

So if you live here in Washington, you have the entire month of April to make it up to Mount Vernon for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. There are fun activities for the entire family, and the fields of multi-colored tulips are a sight to behold. And it’s really not that far from Seattle!

See you there!

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4 Responses to “Tulip Mania is Here!”

  1. Catherine says:

    I never knew that area had tulip farms. Very beautiful!

  2. Frances says:

    We have visited the tulip farms many times. Beautiful, like the photos!

  3. Deb says:

    The infusion of colors are intoxicating. Tulips are my daughter’s favorite flower…she was in heaven when we visited last spring. 馃檪

  4. carolyn mcgill says:

    Ed, we may not travel abroad anymore, so your photos and travel experiences will make me feel that I was there! Thank you! The tulips were magnificent!