Tulip Time Receives Top World Tulip Award


Susan Zalnis
616.396.4221 x107
[email protected]

On Friday, October 6, members of the World Tulip Summit Society (WTSS) gathered in Ottawa, Canada to present the 2017 World Tulip Awards, and Tulip Time was recognized among this year’s recipients.  

Tulip Time – Holland, Michigan, USA received the 2017 Tulip Festival of the Year Award. Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director, accepted this top honor on the Festival’s behalf. World Tulip Awards are presented to organizations who have distinguished themselves in the celebration and promotion of the tulip as a symbol of world friendship, and that excel in creating partnerships between tulips, their community and the world.

“We are extremely honored to have received this award,” stated Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director.  “To be recognized among this elite group of tulip celebrations internationally is indeed a privilege.” 

At the World Tulip Summit on October 7, Gwen Auwerda will be inducted into the World Order of the Tulip that recognizes individuals from around the world who have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and celebration of the tulip.

The jury, made up of representatives of the world tulip network, considered the following in their decision:
• Quality of the Tulip Experience offered to the public
• Level of readiness to host, service and market to visitors
• Integration and connection to the community
• Level of innovation
• Contribution to the destination’s sustainability
• Level of public and media recognition

“The fact that these values were the base of assessment that resulted in our being selected as the recipient of this award, is a strong testament to the commitment and endearment that the City of Holland, and the community at large, have to the Festival,” stated Auwerda.

The City of Holland plants over 400,000 tulips in its City Parks and the Downtown area, as well as six miles of Tulip Lanes, each year for the Festival presenting to visitors an unforgettable tulip experience. The Holland community is also a key contributor to the success of the Festival for the past 89 years. Nearly 200 local businesses and organizations support Tulip Time through various partnerships. In addition, volunteers numbering nearly 1,000 turn out to interact with the estimated 500,000 visitors and take on many support roles throughout the 9-day Festival. According to an Economic Impact Study conducted in 2015, Tulip Time facilitates a $12.9 million economic impact on the Holland area during the festival week alone. The community experiences residual economic impact from the 66% of festival attendees that plan a return trip to Holland because of their experience during Tulip Time.

While this recent award is certainly the most prestigious received from the World Tulip Summit Society, it isn’t the first. In 2015, Tulip Time was recognized in the “World Top 5 Tulip Festivals Worth Travelling For” category by this same organization.  

About WTSS
The World Tulip Summit Society, a network of tulip lovers and directors of festivals from 17 countries, is committed to promoting the tulip as a symbol of world friendship. Each World Tulip Summit, held biannually, is an opportunity to celebrate the special history of the tulip and its relationship with mankind over the many centuries. Please visit www.worldtulipsummit.net for further information on the World Tulip Summit Society, the 2017 World Tulip Awards and the World Order of the Tulip.

About Tulip Time Festival
The festival began in 1929 as a celebration of the tulip because of the flower’s and community’s close ties to the Netherlands. Today, the festival celebrates a rich Dutch heritage, the community and the stars of the show:  our millions of tulips.  The fun continues with three parades, Dutch Dancers, national and regional entertainment, dinner shows, Dutch market, fireworks, and much more. Visit www.tuliptime.com for more information on Tulip Time. Complete details for the 2018 festival will be available in November.