The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a beloved springtime event in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s back this year after having to cancel last year due to the pandemic. Meet the festival’s two main venues and find out what you can expect when you visit each farm.
In addition to tulips, there are also daffodil fields and other events outside of farms that visitors can explore, including an art and gift show, a parade and poster signings from artist Jennifer McGill. The festival is set to run April 1-30, but according to the festival’s website, peak bloom dates for tulips have yet to be determined. (The daffodil fields are in full bloom, according to the website.)
Brent Roozen’s family has grown tulips in the Skagit Valley since the 1950s. His grandfather, William Roozen, started the Washington Bulb Company in 1952, and in 1984, RoozenGaarde was created, the same year the Tulip Festival started.
Roozen, who is a tulip grower, said they redesign and replant their garden with more than 1 million bulbs each year. Their farm has a 25-acre tulip field and a 25-acre daffodil field.
“You’re surrounded by hundreds of different colors and varieties and really cool designs,” he said.
The pandemic was something Roozen never envisioned. He said it was surreal to see last year’s field in full bloom, but with no people around to enjoy it.
However, the farm is ready to be visited again, with a few precautions in place. Roozen said they’re limiting capacity and tickets need to be reserved online in advance.
The farm is open during the festival daily from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission is $15 per person. Children ages 2 and under are free. Tickets include access to the 5-acre garden, tulip and daffodil fields and the gift shop and fresh-cut tulip market.
For those who may not be ready or able to come in-person, Roozen said they are providing an online experience on their social-media channels, with videos and photos of the garden.
If you’re like Andrew Miller, you believe one flower reigns supreme during this time of year.
“There is nothing more symbolic of spring than tulips,” he said.
Tulip Town, which started in 1984 and was owned by Anthony DeGoede, was purchased in 2019 by current CEO Miller and four of his former high school classmates. The 5-acre farm is now designed so people can walk up close to the tulips and take photos while still keeping the plants safe, he said.
Tickets to Tulip Town will be timed to promote social distancing. Visitors can also enjoy food at The Landing at Tulip Town, a cafe run by another high school classmate of Miller’s, chef Josie Urbick, former executive chef at TASTE at the Seattle Art Museum. There will also be a beer garden serving local beer, wine and cider.
Tulip Town is open from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. every day. Visitors have the option to choose from three types of tickets. The general-admission ticket includes parking, entry and a trolley ride. The experience pass includes all general-admission items, plus a mini workshop and an opportunity to pick your bouquet. There is also a photography pass, which allows for exclusive access to the tulip field and gardens between 6-8 a.m. and through sunset, as well as during regular business hours.
“I hope people leave celebrating the unique and special place that is Skagit Valley,” Miller said.