Residents getting creative with tulip festival

The Canadian Tulip Festival is set to kick off next week with a digital component to encourage residents to stay home. 

Ottawa has celebrated the festival since 1953, to showcase the gifts from the Dutch to Canada. The flowers were sent as a thank you for the role Canadian soldiers played in the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War.  

The festival marks the capital’s unofficial start to the spring and summer tourism season with thousands flocking to view the colourful petals at Commissioner’s Park by Dow’s Lake. 

The tulips pose a unique problem for the city this year. While the decision was made to keep growing the time honoured tradition, others voiced concerns residents would by-pass physical distancing to walk among the blooms.  

The homepage on the festival’s website specifically asks residents to stay home, saying the gardens can be viewed on the festival’s website, social media and newly launched YouTube channel. 

Residents have found creative ways to keep the tradition alive without making an unnecessary trip.  

Kanata North Councillor Jenna Sudds says residents in her ward are encouraging each other to paint tulips on rocks to put in their front gardens. She says residents can enjoy them when out on physically distant walks. The decorated rocks will be on front lawns for the month of May. 

The festival runs from May 8 – May 18. You can find more information here 

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