Spring has sprung and in Albany, New York, and that means it’s time for Tulip Fest. This is the 65th year of this event that includes the crowning of the Tulip Queen and the naming of the Mother of the Year.
It was in 1948 that Mayor of Albany Erastus Corning II declared the tulip the official flower of Albany. He wrote to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands asking her to name a tulip that would represent Albany. She declared the variety of tulip known as the “Orange Wonder” to be the tulip of Albany. Tulip Fest was born.
It’s a weekend of entertainment, food, and activities. Many of the traditions of this free event have been celebrated for half a century.
The event kicks off on Friday, May 10 with the scrubbing of State Street, which follows the Old Dutch tradition of scrubbing the street for festivals and celebrations. During the Tulip Festival Luncheon the past year’s Tulip Queen and her court are bid farewell.
The festivities in Washington Park begin on Saturday, May 11 with music throughout the park. During this weekend over a dozen acts will perform on two stages.
Sunday, May 11 is Mother’s Day and the 15th Annual Mother of the Year Award at will be given at noon. Mayor Jennings and Joe Condon of B-95.5 will honor the Capital Region’s most exceptional moms. The line up continues with Annie and the Hedonists at 1 p.m., MaryLeigh and the Fauves at 2:15 p.m., the Dylan Perrillo Orchestra at 3:30, and East Bound Jesus at 4:45 p.m.
Sunday’s Main Stage line up features unique events beginning with Zumba for all who wish to participate. There will be more music, a national crafts sale, and a wide array of food.
The kidzone has been designated once again. Fun events include the Radio Disney Road Show, Melvin the Magnificent, and Fairborn Jugglers. Other events include from face painting, arts and crafts, pony rides and rock climbing walls.
The highlight of the weekend the tulips and the tulip court, five outstanding young women who help the Mayor’s literacy outreach program. Albany Tulip Fest was named a Top Ten Event by the American Bus Association.