Tulip Fest

Tulip Fest Angle

The Canadian Tulip Festival is a thing that happens in my fair hometown of Ottawa, Ontario every May, a grand, sprawling celebration of, among other things, the 100,000 tulip bulbs the Dutch royal family gifted to Canada in 1945 as thanks for sheltering a princess and her daughters during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.  The great-great-great-great-great-great-to-whatever-infinity grand-flowers of those original tulips have blossomed every spring here in the Nation’s Capital (or not; sometimes we still get snow at this time of year) since 1953.  As a kid I’d go every couple of years with my parents or perhaps on a school trip, but I haven’t been since high school, when the festival was overflowing with awesome alternative music acts (Tulipalooza was the jam) and a ludicrous number of opportunities to meet cute, grungy boys (once again, thank you Tulipalooza!)

The Canadian Tulip Fest actually just wrapped up its 2017 season, so the artists, the musicians and the Big Lemon have all left the building, but the tulips – over a million spread out in vast beds across the city – are still here, and doing really quite well in our deeply unpredictable spring weather.  So I thought I’d do some nails to commemorate the commemoration of the tulips that commemorate the very special relationship between Canada and the Netherlands.  Phew!

And this has been your Canadian nail art history moment.  Please join me next time when I recount how my family is related to Laura Secord, a war heroine who actually has nothing to do with the chocolate empire that bears her name.  But for now, the tulips!

Tulip Fest Front

4 thoughts on “Tulip Fest

  1. I keep wanting to visit Ottawa for the tulips, but never seem to get a chance to. Must, must, must go one year! And I need to know the Laura Secord story! I didn’t grow up in Canada so it took a while for me to learn that the chocolates were named for a real historical figure, and not a lovely chocolatier from the olden days. 🙂 I also thought Canadian Tire only sold car stuff.

    • And why would it not only sell car stuff – it’s right there in the name of the store!

      Right, so the chocolate thing – that’s a weird one, right? I have no idea how she came to be the face of a Canadian chocolate empire, but Laura Secord was a war heroine who, in 1813, walked over 30 kms through American-occupied territory (also bear-occupied territory – Canada was nearly all bush then) to warn the British of an impending American attack. Somehow that sells chocolate, go figure!

      You really ought to come see the tulips once in all their glory – it’s quite the impressive sight. It’s just such a crapshoot as to whether the weather will oblige or not – some warm years the tulips are all pooped out by the time the festival rolls around, and other years it’s so cold that none of them open. Canada, man!

      I think I’ve asked this before, and I apologize for forgetting, but where did you grow up again?

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