Tulip Time Activities


Join us for Pella’s celebration of Dutch heritage and vibrantly blooming tulips!

NOTE ON TICKETS: Tickets for most events can be purchased at the ticket booth at the corner of Main and Franklin near the Grandstand seating entrance.


One of the highlights of our Tulip Time Festival is the parades! We have two parades daily, an afternoon parade at 2:30 pm and a lighted evening parade at 8:30 pm. Both the day and evening parades feature elaborate floats, marching bands, and residents in authentic Dutch costume!

Although the parade can be viewed from anywhere along the route, the best way to see the parade is from the Grandstand. A Grandstand ticket will not only provide you with a reserved seat for the parade, but a perfect seat for viewing the Grandstand show, which begins 90 minutes prior to parade time. The afternoon Grandstand show features Dutch dancing and singing, a Dutch costume styleshow, cheese market demonstration, presentation of the Tulip Queen and her Court, and the famous street scrubbers.


Museums & Tours:

Pella Historical Village Museum & Vermeer Windmill Tour
The Vermeer Windmill is the tallest working windmill in the United States! All windmill tours are assigned a specific time. Be sure to get your “Fast Pass” timed ticket at either the North Gate or the Gift Shop. A tour of the Village includes a guided tour of the mill, 21 other historic buildings and exhibits, and more than 28,000 tulips planted throughout the village. Live craft demonstrations take place throughout the day. Tours begin at North gate. Open 9:00 am-5:00 pm Wednesday and 9:00 am-6:00 pm Thursday-Saturday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children, under 5 free.

Pella City Tour
Take a narrated open–air wagon tour of Pella! Learn about Pella’s many highlights as you travel past tulip gardens and historical landmarks. Tours take approximately 45 minutes. Hours are 9:00 am–4:30 pm Wednesday; 8:30 am–12:15 pm & 4 pm–6 pm Thursday–Saturday. $5 for adults, $3 youth (ages 5-18).

Scholte House
The founder of Pella’s beautiful home just north of Central Park; currently undergoing renovations and restoration. Beautiful gardens behind the home are free and open to the public.

Tuttle Cabin
Located at 608 Lincoln Street, the Thomas F. and Nancy Tuttle Log House is the oldest building in Pella and is preserved and maintained by Historic Pella Trust. The cabin is a wood, 1.5 story “single-pen” (one room dwelling), originally constructed in 1843 with walls made of square hewn walnut logs about 6×6 inches. Tours 9 am-5 pm. $3 for adult and $5 for family.

Fire House Museum
The reconstructed 1882 building houses an antique fire engine, antique fire-fighting equipment and fire- fighting memorabilia, as well as a cold, desolate jail. Hours are noon- 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm-8:00 pm Thursday-Saturday.

Pella Rolscreen Depot Museum
The Pella Depot Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains memorabilia of its early days as an important stop on the railroad system and the Rolscreen Corporation (now Pella Corporation). Hours are 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Wed and 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Thurs – Sat. 20 minutes. Address: 102 Main Street

Vermeer Corporation Museum
Located at 2110 East Vermeer Road, the Vermeer Museum reflects the company’s nearly 7 decades of growth from a family farm and business to a global corporation. Hours are 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Wed – Fri, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Sat of Tulip Time only.  30-60 minutes, self guided.

Veteran’s Museum
Visit the Veteran’s Museum sponsored by the VFW/American Legion. Items include a wide variety of artifacts from the Civil War through Desert Storm, most of which were donated by Pella citizens. Pella Memorial Building at 829 Broadway. Hours are 11:30 am – 2:00 pm.



Central Park and Sunken Gardens Park

The City of Pella plants hundreds of thousands of tulips throughout these two parks in celebration of Pella’s Dutch heritage. Especially vibrant and colorful is the Tulip Avenue Central Park which runs from the North fountain to the center of the park. An immense variety of tulips are showcased along this sidewalk.

Fair Haven Memorial Garden
Originally planted in 1947 with the donation of tulip bulbs from Holland as a thank you for aid that the city of Pella sent after World War II, today these gardens feature over 13,000 tulips planted in 17 beds provided by the Pella Garden Club and primarily maintained by the Marion County Master Gardeners. Located five blocks southeast of the downtown square at the corner of East Third and Union Streets, the public is invited to view these lovely tulips.

Thousands of tulips are also planted in the Historical Village and Scholte Gardens (see museums).


Performances (Purchase tickets from the Pella Opera House)

The Reluctant Pioneer – the Story of Maria Scholte
Thursday, Friday and Saturday: Shows 10 am at the Pella Opera House. New this year, the Opera House’s Great Hall will be transformed into Maria Scholte’s living room for this unique experience. The Reluctant Pioneer is a must-see! A thoroughly enjoyable one-woman live production by Beverly Graves, bringing to life Pella’s “first lady,” Maria Scholte. Catch an exciting glimpse of this important figure from Pella’s pioneer days.

Tombstone Trials Radio Play
Thursday: Shows at 11 am and 6:30pm at the Pella Opera House. In the aftermath of the O.K. Corral Shootout, the Earp Brothers and their friend Doc Holliday were brought before a c ourt of law and charged with murdering the McLaury Brothers and Billy Clanton. This preliminary hearing was presided over by Wells Spicer and resulted in a not-guilty verdict for the defendants. Long-forgotten connections to Iowa have led to a play, Tombstone Trial: the Iowa Connection, based on this hearing. The connections cover the state and include Pella, Iowa, where the Earp Brothers grew up; Belle Plaine, where the McLaury Brothers had their boyhood home before moving to Buchanan County; and Tipton, where Wells Spicer grew to adulthood. Further Iowa connections are to Fairfax, Davenport and Tama, Iowa. Join us for this Iowa-connected history show.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips with Davis Folkerts on the Barton Theatre Organ
Thursday and Saturday: 4:30 pm at the Pella Opera House. Delight to the sounds of the Barton Theatre Organ, brought to life in a 45-minute program of music, some of which will be played as accompaniment to a short silent film! Performed by Pella’s very own Davis Folkerts, an accomplished organist and Professor Emeritus from the Music Department of Central College.

52nd Street and the Music of Billy Joel 
Friday: Shows at 11 am and 6:30 pm at the Pella Opera House. It’s “Still Rock-n-Roll” when 52nd St. comes to town! Walt Wise’s 52nd St. performs all the BIG HITS of the legendary Billy Joel. From rockers like “Big Shot” and “You May Be Right” to ballads like “Just the Way You Are” to perennial favorites like “Piano Man” there’s something for everyone! Vocalist/Multi-instrumentalist Walt Wise has performed nationally and internationally for such names as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Caesars Palace, Harrahs, the US Air Force & Navy, etc. Come out and sing along to your favorite Billy Joel Classic Hits!

Central College Flying Pans 
Saturday: Shows at 11 am and 6:30 pm at the Pella Opera House.The Central College Flying Pans Steel Band, founded and directed by Stanley E. Dahl, Senior Lecturer of Music, have traveled extensively throughout the United States performing concerts, workshops, and clinics, island parties and festivals since 2000. They have also performed for the Iowa Days of Percussion, Iowa Music Educators Association Conference, Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference, International Association of Pan, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Red Rocks Amphitheater, SXSW, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Consisting of both music and non-music majors, they have also performed alongside and received clinics with steelpan/Caribbean artists Chris Wabich, the PANic All-Stars, Jumbies, Tropical Steel, Britton/Moore Duo, Liam Teague + Robert Chappell, Panoramic, Ken “Professor” Philmore, Andy Narell, and Tracy Thornton. The Flying Pans perform diverse styles of music from traditional calypso, soca and reggae to that of classical, Latin, disco, techno and rock and roll in which they have recorded numerous CDs for steelpan.


Pella Garden Club 55th Annual Flower Show
The flower show features over 60 arrangements; tulips used in all fresh designs. Flowers grace antique furnishings of four vintage houses and a replica of Dominie Scholte’s 19th century church. Tulip bulbs from Holland can be ordered at the flower show. Hours are 9:00 am-6:00 pm Thursday-Saturday at the Historical Village’s Scholte Church.

The Klokkenspel 
Enjoy the 147-bell carillon as you watch figures tell of Pella’s early history or see a series of popular Tulip Time displays. The five bronze bells at the top were cast in Holland. Normal yearly performance times are 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 9pm with additional performances during Tulip Time. The Klokkenspel is located  a half block east of the square on Franklin Street.

Dutch Masters Antique Auto Display
Car buffs will love these antique cars on display! 8:30 am- 7:30 pm, Wells Fargo Bank parking lot.

Red Rock Threshers Antique Implement Display
Antique tractors and equipment on display. 9:00 am-7:00 pm, Franklin Street west of the square and West 2nd Street between Franklin and Liberty.

Quilt Show
Enjoy over 100 quilts from the Pella Area Quilt Guild. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Wednesday – Saturday at the Pella Community Center. $5 for adults, children 12 and under free.


Other Activities:

26th Annual Klompen Classic 5K Run/Walk
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
6pm – Kids’ Classic Fun Run (ages 1-10) FREE
7pm – 5K   $25 through April 30, $30 on race day

Dutch Demos
Program will feature:

  • Dutch Delights – Learn about authentic foods from The Netherlands and enjoy free samples!
  • Dress Like the Dutch – Audience members will model Dutch costumes and all will learn about the types of dress and provinces in The Netherlands.
  • Meet the Burgemeister – The town’s honorary mayor shares stories about our three-day festival.

Programs take place at 10:00 am Thursday-Saturday. Taking place at the Memorial Building, cost is $5 per adult or $2 students (K-12).

de Kinderhoek (Kids Corner)
Young children will enjoy play, crafts and activities at the Northeast Corner of Central Park. Day pass wristband. Hours are noon- 8:00 pm Friday, 10:00 am- 6:00 pm Saturday.

Dutch Craft Market
Stroll through West Market Park and enjoy 100+ booths filled with a wide variety of shopping delights, open 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

West Market Park Playground/Inflatable Rides
West Market Park is a large wooden playground that features swings, multiple slides, sand lot, suspension bridge, and more! Inflatables available 11:00 am – 7:00 pm Friday & Saturday; Fee applies for inflatables.

Fly–In Breakfast
Antique, classic, experimental and corporate aircraft on display. Breakfast served by Pella United Methodist Church. At the Pella Municipal Airport from 7:00 am- 10:00 am Saturday. $7 for adults, $5 for children.

Tractor Rodeo
Watch as drivers test their skills and abilities on antique tractors in an obstacle course, slow race, tractor balancing and more! West side of square on Broadway, 5:00 pm.