Pella — Tulip Time, earlier this month, saw extra adversity this year in the form of an unexpected snowfall. Despite the odd weather, Dick Redman of the Tulip Time Steering Committee is proud of what the town accomplished.
"How they handled the situation really made it a great time," Redman said of many groups, including Tulip Time volunteers, vendors, residents and the entire Pella community. Watching everyone pull together to make the best of an unusual situation was the highlight of the event for Redman.
Redman has been a Pella resident for 35 years, and this was the first time he remembers snow on the ground during the event. He believes the uniqueness of the 2013 Tulip Time will stay in the minds of everyone locally, as well as those who came to visit.
When schools in the area were closing on May 3, he grew concerned about the celebration. Organizers quickly reacted to the cold and snow by moving several activities indoors. One group Redman specifically wanted to thank is Second Reformed Church, which played host to the Queen Coronation. The Memorial Building was utilized for concerts by Jason Brown and the Thomas Quay Band, originally scheduled to take place outdoors.
"It turned out to be a special time," Redman said. While he was sure some were disappointed with some of the forced parade cancellations. As he put it, you can't have people watching a parade while sitting in several inches of snow. But he also recalls parades being canceled in the past for less.
Redman did not have financial information to know whether or not the weather affected the bottom line of vendors and businesses, which are used to a boon during the annual celebration. Several shops were crowded throughout Tulip Time, Redman pointed out.
The Steering Committee intends to meet in June. They will review the 2013 event, evaluate some of the new procedures and events they implemented and begin discussing new ideas for 2014.
Redman once again wanted to emphasize the pride he felt in the community while watching it respond and adapt to the snowfall. Images of local children, playing in the snow while wearing Dutch costumes, will remain with him as "truly something special."