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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

Tulips from the Netherlands, hand grown in Texas

There+are+rows+and+rows+of+tulips+at+Tulipalooza+that+people+can+walk+through+and+pick+flowers+from.
Staff Photo/Aislyn Smith
There are rows and rows of tulips at Tulipalooza that people can walk through and pick flowers from.

Waxahachie hosted Tulipalooza, the fifth annual Dutch tulip festival March 8-17, and donated some of the proceedings from the event to various local charities in an effort to raise awareness of mental disabilities.

The festival featured hundreds of thousands of tulips for DFW and surrounding cities to visit, getting a taste of the Netherlands in Texas. The event featured fun for the family, food trucks, and of course, the colorful rows of tulips.

The tulips are imported all the way from Holland in the Netherlands and planted by the thousands in a small field in Waxahachie. The bulbs are hand-planted at Getzendaner Memorial Park around December, and in the following four-and-a-half months, they are carefully grown to perfection.

Once the tulip fields are open to the public, people can come in and grab a flower (or twelve) or take photos and enjoy a colorful picnic.

“My wife and I have loved visiting the lovely flowers,” Thom Horton said while walking through the fields with his wife. “The people who volunteer are just the sweetest, and they are out here working rain or shine.”

Horton was one of many out in the fields during the event, learning about the different types of Holland Tulips or just having a walk with family or friends.

A stall was set up with volunteers bagging picked flowers and selling authentic wooden clogs styled straight from the Netherlands.

John Poston is the founder of Tulipalooza and owner of Daymark Living, a safe living community for adults with mental disabilities such as Down syndrome or autism.

In 2018, he sought to come up with a way of bringing awareness to these disabilities after meeting the Tamminga family, who had come to the U.S. from the Netherlands.

According to Poston, the Tammingas held a strong love for the Dutch tulips, and during his search for an awareness campaign, he found his inspiration.

He worked with the Tammingas and met Bill Van Houton, soon-to-be coordinator of the planting for the next year, to import the bulbs. Soon enough, over 300,000 Holland tulips were hand-planted in Waxahachie.

To give the tulips the care they needed in the winter, the growers used special tents, and with entirely natural means, the flowers sprouted up. With enough care, they quickly bloomed, and Poston worked to invite people from all across Texas to enjoy the piece of the Netherlands.

Poston estimates that every year around 30,000 people come to see the fields. And the best part? When tickets are bought, people have the option to pick a charity to send half of their ticket price to. The other half is put toward the costs of next year’s Tulipalooza.

A few of the charities that visitors can pick from include the YMCA, the Hendricks Scholarship Foundation, Goodwill Industries of Dallas and the Special Olympics of Texas.

These charities all worked to bring awareness alongside Poston in his efforts, and they continue to support Tulipalooza.

However, Poston decided to take a step back and appreciate the hard work and passion behind the tulip festival.

He gave control and planning of the festival to the Tamminga family and volunteers. Now he just supports them from the background.

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