Saturday, December 07, 2013

Holland, Michigan - Tulip Festival - 1960

Let's set the wayback machine to 1960; the place - Holland, Michigan. Not surprisingly, the city had been populated by Dutch settlers, and in 1928, a city beautification project saw the planting of 100,000  tulip bulbs. Each May since 1929, the city of Holland has celebrated its "Tulip Time Festival" with fireworks, shows, arts and crafts, concerts, food, and everything else that makes life worth living.

There are also three parades, because one parade just wasn't enough! Here's a group of wholesome kids performing a bit of klompen dancing, which must have made a glorious sound (though it wasn't good for the pavement).  

Reader's Digest proclaimed that the Tulip Time Festival was the best small town festival. What about the Over-cooked Brussels Sprouts festival? Or the Aerosol Cheese Extravaganza? I demand a recount. The blond girl is adorable; she is somebody's grandma today. Just look at the turnout for this parade, pretty impressive.

I guess that boys were not interested in klompen dancing, because even the "boys" are girls in this picture. How could you not stay at a hotel named "Hotel Warm Friend", especially when it has been recommended by Duncan Hines?? Screw those Michelin stars, I prefer cupcakes.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Tulip Time Festival!


Nanook said...

I can't imagine "klompen-ing around", in a parade, no less, for who knows how long. Just how comfortable can wooden shoes be after wearing them for say, oh - I don't know - five minutes-? (It must be an acquired taste).

And as far as the Best Small Town Festival is concerned, I'm votin' with the Major on this one: Give me the Over-cooked Brussels Sprouts Festival any day-!

And check out this tidbit regarding the Hotel Warm Friend...
"A cornerstone of the Holland community since it was built in 1924, The Warm Friend has a storied past as a hotel hosting elegant weddings, delightful restaurants, famous visitors, and even a bank robbery!..." "Today, The Warm Friend is a delightful home to active older adults who enjoy its elegance, downtown Holland location, and gracious community of friends..."

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...


Melissa said...

I'm struck by the "Or Shoes" sign in the first picture. "Socks or Shoes?" "Boots or Shoes?" "Food or Shoes?" "Used Cars or Shoes?" That store can't have lasted very long - most stores try to sell you ADDITIONAL items, not one item INSTEAD of another.

The fellow holding up the "No All Night Parking" sign in the second picture kind of looks like Roy O. Disney. Maybe he was scouting out ideas for a new Disneyland parade. "They have this Klompen thing, Walt, but we'd have to shore up the Utilidors first."

There was one boy in the Klompen Klass, but the teacher figured that since there weren't enough to dance all the male parts, it would be less confusing for the audience to have all the "male" dancers be girls in trousers and have little Albert van Meijer go in full drag and dance with the "girls." That's him in the middle of the group picture, with the white ruffles on his sleeves; they added extra frills to his costume for extra femininity.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have thought the exact same thing... those wooden shoes HAVE to be uncomfortable. Or maybe I'd be astonished at how great they are? Doubtful. The Hotel Warm Friend is now for "active older adults". I am SO there! I don't know if I qualify as "older" yet, but feel that way sometimes.

Melissa, you are right! I believe that the sign actually says, "I ABHOR SHOES" - it's more of a personal screed against footwear. A hobbit probably owned the store and wanted the whole world to know. I personally would want to be the only boy in the klompen class, surrounded by wholesome young ladies. And maybe even a few unwholesome ladies, better still!

Melissa said...

In the fourth grade, I was in a handbell choir that was all girls except for Derek. The teacher kept forgetting about Derek and just addressing us collectively as, “Girls.”

“Line up, girls! Time to get started! Oh, and you, too, Derek.”

“Now, girls… oh, yes, and Derek, too…”

“Concert attire is white blouses and black skirts.” Silence. Muffled giggles. “Oh! Derek, you can wear pants if you want to.”

Nancy said...

Love the wooden shoes, tho I am sure I would not like wearing them. Pretty little town, too :-)

Snow White Archive said...

As a kid, our school took a field trip to Holland. MI. They had a kind of amusement park there with rides and games. Was an enjoyable time from what I recall. Remember lots of wooden shoes; they had 'em for sale too.

Don't remember the Hotel Warm Friend though. What an unusual name.

Anonymous said...

As a boy, my neighbor's parents were Dutch, from the old country. His mother wore her klompen around the farm, but never in public. They were very noisy on floors, of course.

On subsequent visits to Netherlands, I can't recall seeing anyone wearing them or offering for sale, except as cutesy-poo souvenirs at the airport shops.

I guess they have been superseded by Crocs, which I love and wear as often as possible, even at Disneyland.


Gregory Vedders said...

Being from West Michigan, it is always fun to see photos like these. I was quite surprised with the middle photo as my Grandfather and Grandmother are in it. What a small world...

Melissa said...

That's amazing, Gregory! I keep seeing people who look like my Grandma in GDB pictures, even though I know it's not really her. How awesome must it be to spot the real thing?

Major Pepperidge said...

Gregory, that IS amazing! I assume that they are the couple in the center of the photo? Like Melissa, I would be thrilled to find a picture on a blog that just happened to show a beloved family member.