Tulip festival blooms at Commissioner’s Park starting May 10

The Canadian Tulip Festival announced a 2019 lineup that’s “re-rooted in horticulture and heritage.”

The May 10-20 festival features an expanded series of 33 “Music & Tulips” performances produced by Julian Armour, the work of local artists among the 300,000 blooms at Commissioner’s Park overlooking Dow’s Lake and a digital app to help visitors explore the National Capital Commission gardens.

Old favourites like the first fireworks of the summer season are back at what organizers say is the longest-running major event in the country behind the Calgary Stampede. There’s also a curated collection of artifacts celebrating the event’s 67 years.

“The festival’s founder, Malak Karsh, used to tell me that when the gift of 100,000 bulbs from the Dutch royal family bloomed in the spring of 1946, the gardens brought a welcome splash of colour back into a world that was still grey following the Second World War,” festival president Grant Hooker said.

“Using digital technology and traditional music and storytelling, we want to enhance the tulip bed experience for festival-goers while keeping alive for young and new Canadians the fabled stories that led to the festival.

“This year’s celebration will be innovative, impactful and, we hope, meaningful.”

The Victoria Day Fireworks, an annual tradition since the 1950s, are May 19 at 10 p.m. over Dow’s Lake.

Admission to Commissioners Park and all attractions except a VIP fireworks seating area is free but festival-goers are encouraged to bring cash for food truck fare and for vendors near Dow’s Lake Plaza.

Visit tulipfestival.ca for more details.

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