Tulip Time – Holland, Michigan, USA received the 2017 Tulip Festival of the Year Award from the World Tulip Summit Society, a network of tulip lovers and directors of festivals from 17 countries committed to promoting the tulip as a symbol of friendship. Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director, accepted this top honor on the festival’s behalf. World Tulip Awards are presented to organizations who have distinguished themselves in the celebration and promotion of the tulip as a symbol of world friendship and that excel in creating partnerships between tulips, their community and the world.
“We are extremely honored to have received this award,” Auwerda stated. “To be recognized among this elite group of tulip celebrations internationally is indeed a privilege.”
At the World Tulip Summit on October 7, Auwerda will be inducted into the World Order of the Tulip that recognizes individuals from around the world who have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and celebration of the tulip.
The jury, made up of representatives of the world tulip network, considered the following in their decision:
- Quality of the Tulip Experience offered to the public
- Level of readiness to host, service and market to visitors
- Integration and connection to the community
- Level of innovation
- Contribution to the destination’s sustainability
- Level of public and media recognition
“The fact that these values were the base of assessment that resulted in our being selected as the recipient of this award, is a strong testament to the commitment and endearment that the City of Holland, and the community at large, have to the Festival,” Auwerda said.
The City of Holland plants over 400,000 tulips in its City Parks and the Downtown area, as well as six miles of Tulip Lanes, each year for the Festival presenting to visitors an unforgettable tulip experience. The Holland community is also a key contributor to the success of the festival for the past 89 years. Nearly 200 local businesses and organizations support Tulip Time through various partnerships. In addition, volunteers numbering nearly 1,000 turn out to interact with the estimated 500,000 visitors and take on many supporting roles throughout the 9-day festival. According to an Economic Impact Study conducted in 2015, Tulip Time facilitates a $12.9 million economic impact on the Holland area during the festival week alone. The community experiences residual economic impact from the 66 percent of festival attendees who plan a return trip to Holland because of their experience during Tulip Time.