Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has been one of the premier destination events for the Pacific Northwest for decades. The Festival is held from April 1-30 this year and is celebrating its 40th year. The Festival celebrates millions of tulips bursting into bloom, showcases Skagit Valley agriculture, and invites thousands of visitors to the Skagit Valley annually. People from across the United States and from around the world come to visit the #MagicSkagit during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. In a normal year, visitors come from all 50 states and from 85+ foreign countries.
The fields of tulips are scattered throughout the Skagit Valley as are the many events and activities that comprise the festival. The tulip fields are the crops of RoozenGaarde/Washington Bulb Co., Inc. Due to crop rotation, the fields are in different locations each year. Four tulip gardens (Garden Rosalyn, RoozenGaarde, Tulip Town and Tulip Valley Farms) also have displays of tulips for visitors to view, photograph and enjoy. New this year – a passport program! Earn points, enter to win prizes (or get a prize) and find out all the festival has to offer HERE
Facts and History of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Did you know? About 1,000 acres of tulips and daffodils are grown in Skagit County, sold for both cut flowers and bulbs and shipped throughout the U.S. and Canada. That makes more tulip and daffodil bulbs produced in Skagit County than in any county in the United States! About 20 million bulbs are harvested each summer. About 500 acres of tulips are grown in Skagit County, accounting for 75% of U.S. commercial production. (Source: Washington State University Skagit County Extension 2021 agriculture statistics)
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival was officially inaugurated in 1984 by the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Chamber directors Jerry Diggerness and Joan Houchen saw that people were coming by the thousands to view the tulips and, through a retreat, decided to add events and festivities to enhance the visitors’ trip to the Skagit Valley. In 1994 the Tulip Festival branched off from the Chamber of Commerce and became an entity of its own, eventually opening a separate office and store.
From humble beginnings, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival grew. It moved from 2 days to 10, then 17 and then to 30 days. The expansion to 30 days was to ensure that the huge fields of tulips grown in Skagit Valley by Washington Bulb Co./RoozenGaarde would actually bloom sometime during the festival, since a shorter festival sometimes missed the blooming of the fields.
Today the festival boasts an amazing assortment of events. You will find art shows, a gala celebration, and a even a Pickleball Tournament. The annual signature events are ready for you in 2023 — the Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair (along first street in downtown Mount Vernon). the PACCAR Technical Center Open House, and the Kiwanis Salmon Barbecue. And, for the farm and animal fans coming to see tulips, there is a petting farm run by a local 4-H Club that operates on weekends. Some of these events are located on our GSV Member and Supporter Event Calendar.
Cindy Verge is the Executive Director of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. She joined the festival in 1999, first working as the sponsorship coordinator and then moving on to the executive position in 2003. We recently caught up with Cindy and asked her what her favorite #SkagitGrown fruit and/or vegetable was. Here’s what she said:
“My favorite is hard as there are so many. But, I guess I would go with the potato. It is so versatile (and tastes good no matter how you cook it), stores well and has lovely flowers to look at during the summer.”
Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
With the Tulip Festival now in full swing for the month of April, it’s a great time to purchase your tickets to visit the farms and attend the events.
Can’t make it this year? Now you can enjoy a taste of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival with our new Savor Skagit boxes. We offer a special edition featuring tea from Willowbrook Manor HERE. You can also find a coffee lover’s edition with Fidalgo Coffee Roasters from the Made in Washington website HERE.
The Mission of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is to coordinate and promote a countywide Spring celebration of the tulip bloom, in commemoration of the valley’s annual tulip harvest, and to be an advocate for Skagit Valley agriculture. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate agriculture than recognizing the accompliments of the team at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Thank you for supporting Genuine Skagit Valley on this #GSVMemberMonday !