is a long-time Northwest tradition. The Festival runs from April 1 to April 30, every year. 2011 marks the 28th annual Tulip Festival, and hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to gather, tour, and enjoy Washington's Skagit Valley bedecked in her very brightest splendor.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival began in 1984 as an event sponsored and run by the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. When it became apparent that people were showing up by the thousands to see the tulips, other events and festivities were incorporated into the celebration to further enhance the experience for Spring visitors to the Skagit Valley. In 1994 the Tulip Festival went independent, separating from the local Chamber of Commerce and becoming a local entity of its own. The duration of the Tulip Festival has steadily grown, as well, from 3 days initially to the current month-long extravaganza it now enjoys. The other benefit of a 30 day tulip festival is that you can be reasonably sure the tulips will actually be blooming, at some point during the designated month of April.
The Tulip Festival has very much become associated with local special events, as well, like the Kiwanis Salmon BBQ, bike rides, runs, street festivals, concerts, and art-gallery gala events. You can keep up with the festival fans and organizers throughout the year, on Facebook. La Conner, best known for its artists, is an active participant in the Tulip Fest.
Local artisan cheese makers and organic farmers enjoy the benefits of hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region, and you can find farm stands and fresh, local, organic produce and goods, galore.
If you plan to drive, you should can find helpful tour maps online. You expect some traffic congestion (much of the 15 miles of tulip farms are on two-lane blacktop county roads) and wear comfortable shoes. If you prefer to be driven, you can book a tour and ride in comfort in one of the chartered buses that will be ferrying thousands of visitors through the local countryside.