By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
The flowers are for you. The fields are for the kids.
You might want to keep this in mind if you plan to visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which officially opens Sunday and continues through April.
The vast millions of colorful tulips are something we adults can admire and be in awe of from the car. But the kids are going to want to get out and walk about.
There are plenty of farm fields to accommodate your kids but not too many tulips just yet.
Daffodils are filling some fields with yellow right now but the tulips won’t start blooming in earnest until about April 5, said Cindy Verge, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival executive director.
A nice bloom should be on by Easter weekend. The tulips generally stick around for about two weeks, with blooms lasting through about April 22, Verge said.
But if you are planning a trip to the tulips soon, there are two key spots where kids can romp or take in a trolley ride or paint a tulip picture.
Tulip Town is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — later as weather permits — at 15002 Bradshaw Road, Mount Vernon. Admission is $5 per person, $4 for military personnel and free for children under 16.
Tulip Town has a spectacular early, mid and late season field walk and a fantastic explosion of color at their indoor show. Tulip Town has the only indoor flower and garden show.
There are also tulips skillfully planted in a rainbow.
The kids can ride the Blue Trolley and tour the fields from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. seven days a week. Adult tickets are $2; children, $1.
There’s also the Tulip Town children’s art table open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Also, professional kite fliers will fly kites each weekend.
In Tulip Town’s new “Dream Walk,” fairies tell their story on posted storyboards along the field walk. If your kids need to take a break from the field walk, they can read a book about tulips.
Tulip Town owner Jeannette DeGoede, along with local artist Lisa Corp, have published “Tulip Fairy’s Holiday,” a short story chronicling the visit of Tuleepa to Tulip Town. Copies of DeGoede’s book will be available for purchase and ties in with the “Dream Walk.”
The other popular display garden to check out is RoozenGaarde, 15867 Beaver Marsh Road, Mount Vernon.
RoozenGaarde has more than 1,000 acres of tulip, daffodil, and iris fields in the Skagit Valley. RoozenGaarde is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day throughout the festival. Admission is $5 per person and $4 for those with military ID. Children 10 and under are free. Parking is also free.
In addition to the flowers — and the fields — here are a few highlights of the 29th Skagit Valley Tulip Festival:
• Wood Fest: March 31 and April 1. Celebrate wood and tour the many carvings and murals in downtown Sedro-Woolley. There will also be chain saw carvers, wood turners, traditional carvers, wood crafters, artisans, high school woodworking exhibits, educational exhibits, a silent auction, kids wooden tops and kids activities. Wood Fest runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday in the Sedro-Woolley High School gymnasium, 1235 Third St., Sedro-Woolley.
• Skagit Valley Tulip Run: 9:30 a.m. April 7: 5-mile run and 2-mile run/walk at Skagit Regional Airport, 12035 Higgins Airport Way, Burlington. Free to 14 and under and 70 and older. All others, $12 or $22 with shirt.
• 26th annual Tulip Festival Street Fair: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday April 20 to 22, First St., Mount Vernon. Live music at two stages, children’s activities and a variety of food. More than 100 juried arts and crafts vendors.
• Tulip Pedal – 31st annual Safe Kids Skagit County and Group Health: Registration 7 a.m. to noon; course open until 4 p.m. April 21 at La Conner Middle School, 503 N. Sixth St., La Conner. Ride on your own bike on a 20-, 40- or 60-mile route or ride all three. Prior registration is $30; day-of registration is $35. Technical jerseys available for $12. Kids 14 and under free.
To investigate where the daffodils are blooming right now or to check out the event options, go to the tulip festival website at www.tulipfestival.org.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; firstname.lastname@example.org.