MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — One of Western Washington’s sure signs of Spring is officially underway: The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
The annual event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID, so the owners of Tulip Town in Mount Vernon are especially excited to welcome back visitors.
"It's kind of like Christmas Eve and Super Bowl Sunday and your best friend's wedding and something you've been planning for two years,” said Andrew Miller, who co-owns Tulip Town with four friends. "We finally get to share what we've been working so hard on and means so much to so many people."
The five-acre working farm grows five million flowers, and there's an additional 10,000 square feet of open-air indoor garden space where visitors can shop or grab ice cream, beer, wine, cider, or treats at a new café.
The owners are all Mount Vernon High School graduates (Class of ’94) who are integrating some high-tech features into the traditional spot for tulip gazing.
To buy specific bulbs, guests can scan a QR code sign located at the end of each row.
The team also strategically planted some rows for better angles, in deference to Instagram. Two red barns are in the background, and there’s more room for people to get close to the tulips and pose.
"When we came out here with our families when we were little, it was like you'd get chased out of the rows when you wanted to get close to the tulips,” Miller said. “So we said, let's really design it so that people can get up close to what they’re here for."
Passes for Tulip Town are available online this year, to ensure COVID safety with smaller crowds and scheduled visits.
Ticket options include general admission, an "Experience Pass” which includes picking a bouquet or a "Photography Pass" which allows access to the fields during the golden hours.
There are a number of other locations and events associated with the annual festival.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs April 1-30.