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by: BARB IVERSON - Tulips at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm are already starting to bloom, so organizers suggest that anyone planning to head out to the fields this spring do so earlier than later.The Tulip Festival is still a family affair after getting its start in 1985.

Siblings Barb, Ken and Nels, and Ken’s son Jon are the full-time caretakers of Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm and Iverson Family Farms, which was purchased by parents Ross and Dorothy Iverson.

But when it comes to the weekends of Tulip Fest — which spans the last weekend of March to the first weekend of May — all generations certainly do their part in making the Tulip Fest come together, Barb Iverson said: The kids pitch in wherever they’re needed, sister-in-law Janet is active with the gift shop, sister Karen figures out logistics of parking and transporting visitors and Nels tries his skills at crafting new scenery every year.

“This year he’s built a Dutch façade to make it look like Holland a little,” Barb said. “It’s definitely a family affair. The whole family gets involved because there’s a lot of pride in pulling off a successful event.”

The Tulip Festival offers more and more every year to its thousands of visitors, with new events this year including an archery tag, a paint ball shoot, an Easter egg hunt and a mud puddle walking challenge. From the 30-acre viewing field to the children’s play area to the gift shop to the Wine Down — where the Iversons hope to debut wine from their first grape harvest — the Iversons hope everyone has a good time. For more information, visit woodenshoe.com.

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