When spring arrives and the fields are in full bloom, the best way to get your flower fix is at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Oregon.
The colourful crop is celebrated every year when the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm opens their 40 acres of rainbow-hued fields up to the public, and thousands of people come to admire the countless rows of blossoms.
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The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
The family-run farm is located near Woodburn in the Willamette Valley wine region south of Portland. It was founded by Ross and Dorothy Iverson, who began growing tulips in 1974 while raising their six children.
The fields grew as fast as the kids did, so in the 1980s the Iversons decided to expand by starting the Wooden Shoe Bulb Company so people could grow their own tulips. A few years later they welcomed the public to the farm for the first time over Easter weekend, and that’s when things really took off.
This Oregon tulip farm is now one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest, and even has a windmill which makes it feel like the next best thing to being in Holland.
Today, their operation includes a cafe, the WS Winery and a gift shop with fresh cut flowers and potted plants. There’s also a “dig day” where guests can dig their own bulbs from the display beds to plant in their own gardens.
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
The month-long Oregon tulip festival happens every year between the end of March and beginning of May, when the farm transformed into what feels like a fairground mixed with Instagram heaven. Girls in pretty dresses and floppy hats strike a pose against the floral backdrop, while parents try to corral their excited kids begging to go on a ride or the tram.
The blossoms are a sea of blush pink, sunshine yellow, red, fuschia and even black tulips, and with views of Mount Hood the scene is simply breathtaking.
The Wooden Shoe tulip fest has food stalls, and family-friendly attractions like a kids’ play area, and pony rides. You can also buy bulbs or fresh bouquets of Oregon tulips as a souvenir, or enjoy a hot air balloon ride (advance reservations required) to see the kaleidoscope of colour from above.
Tips for visiting the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
- When to go: The tulip farm is open year round and has wine tasting, a gift shop and hemp products, while the festival usually runs from the end of March to the first week in May. As the event is so popular, expect to arrive to find a long line of cars if you’re visiting on a weekend.
- How to get there: The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is a 40 minute drive from Portland, and about two hours from the Columbia Gorge.
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