SKAGIT, Wash. — The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is celebrating its 40th year.
The month-long event started as a two-day affair. Then it expanded to 10 and 17 days before it became an April tradition in western Washington.
Running the celebration for 30 days ensures that the fields of tulips grown in Skagit Valley by Washington Bulb Company. and RoozenGaarde would bloom sometime during the festival, according to organizers.
The current festival features hundreds of acres of tulip fields along with art shows, a gala celebration and a pickleball tournament.
Here are the top five things to know for this year's festival:
- There is no “address” for the festival. It happens in all different locations throughout the Skagit Valley.
- Plan ahead and download a map and addresses to the Tulip Gardens (there are four) OR stop by our offices to get a map of the gardens and tulip fields. Remember, there are hundreds of acres of tulips, but thousands of acres of farmlands.
- Know that the weather is variable. The tulips are outside and love the cool, rainy Pacific Northwest spring. As tulip fans, you want to be prepared.
- There are tulips and more. The website, www.tulipfestival.org is a great spot to start. Be on the lookout for the passport program that helps you to find the many hidden gems that are Skagit Valley.
- On busy weekends, follow I-5 to Highway 20, go west to Best Road and then east at McLean and Best Road roundabout. This gets you right in the middle of Tulip country without the congestion of our downtown areas.
Farm workers on the job
In late March of 2022, just before last year's festival kicked off, dozens of Washington Bulb Company workers picketed.
About 200 people work for the company.
The independent union - Familias Unidas por la Justicia - said the workers were concerned about worksite conditions, having access to skin rotective gear, and bonus pay.
A new agreement was established in 2022 and there were no major impacts to the start of last year's festival.
Edgar Franks, the political director for Familias Unidas por la Justicia, told KING 5 everything in the new agreement is currently being met. He said "communication channels have been open" and this season is off to a good start.
Washington Bulb Company workers along with other farm workers will take part in an annual march on April 30. The group will gather at 9 a.m. at Edgewater Park in Mount Vernon. The march will start at 10 a.m. A celebration with food and music will be held after the march.
Por un mensaje de Familias Unidas por la Justicia, haz cliq aqui.