The 30th annual Tulip Festival wound down Sunday, complete with its acres of radiant beauty, thousands of visitors and debut of Wooden Shoe Tulip Farms own wine.
Barb Iverson, co-owner of Wooden Shoe, which has put on the festival since 1985, said she was somewhat disappointed in the weather, but its still been a successful year.
Last year we had visitors representing 132 countries and this year I think weve exceeded that, she said, pointing out that they keep a map for visitors to mark where theyre from. We had a white town car from Argentina come through last week. They were driving from Patagonia to Alaska. It was a two-year journey and this was on their list of things to do. Thats the farthest (anyone has driven for the festival).
This year marked some new offerings, including a field buggy for the older population, a Dutch village façade by the wooden shoemaker and smoked Dutch sausage.
We had three people from the Netherlands and they said it was right on, Iverson said.
Shes already planning for next year, which will also start the last weekend in March and run through the first weekend of May.
Were always thinking and scheming, Iverson said. There will be new surprises next year. Most of them are soft touches that weve added that really arent advertised; theyre just there.
The color of the tulips peaked in early April this year, but people still enjoyed the tulip fields through this past weekend.
Theres not the vibrant color now, but people still say theyre pretty, Iverson said last week. People are coming out just for the experience of being on the farm. Theres a lot to be said about that.
The festival closed with the Field and Vine Farm Loop dinner, which debuted Wooden Shoes first wine, albarino. With the festival over, Wooden Shoe will still be open every weekend through November for wine tasting. For more information, visit www.woodenshoe.com.