decades of tulips and fatballs. EIGHTY years. This is no amateur
operation. This is serious stuff. Its Tulip Time in
Holland (Michigan), and when it comes to festivals, these
people dont mess around.
Holland. They take it to the limit — right up to the
edge of crazy — creating a veritable Tulipalooza. Thats why
Tulip Time was named Best Small Town Festival by Readers Digest.
a dancer is found worthy of performance, Fields Fabrics
is given the performers measurements and the choosing
of the material commences. Fields Fabrics is the exclusive
supplier for all things Dutch and wearable in Holland. We
dont think it would be advisable to procure materials
you get our drift, a person may very well get whacked. Once an offer
is made that cant be refused, a local seamstress sews the
costume is then inspected to assure that it meets the standard
for authenticity and construction, as per the Directors
criterion and the festivals website. The whole process
must be very akin to selecting a prom dress for many of Hollands
giddy youngsters. The end result is a wonderful bouquet of
resplendently costumed dancers klompen through the tulip-lined
streets of Holland. Spectacular, and well worth the effort.
visiting Fields Fabrics, we asked about the curious
little gold twirly thingys that adorned certain dancers
temples. We were hoping for some inside dirt on how this blooming
little organization operated. Perhaps the quirky little
spirals were in lieu of a secret handshake or some sort of insidious
insignia. No such luck. We were informed that they are called kissers
hypothetically designed to keep the boys from stealing a smooch
on the cheek.
think it works, was our answer from the pleasant proprietor.
up on trying to crack into the Dutch Mafia, we decided to
absorb the rest of the celebration without malice. There was
so much to take in — the traditional street scrubbing before
the parades, the Muziekparade, Kinderparade, and Volksparade
(bringing new meaning to the phrase Dutch Clean).
The Kinderplaatz, Wooden Shoe-Be-Doo, trolley tours, a beer
garden and food.
midst the merriment, we happened upon a food wagon emblazoned
with OLDE WORLD DELI FATBALLS. The procession
of folks waiting for a fatball was amazingly long. Could balls
of fat actually be the gastronomical hit of Tulip Time? Curiosity
got the better of David, so he joined the line while Veronica
went in for a bit of recon. Peering
in the back of the wagon, the fatball mystery began to unfold.
A man stood
large wads of a thick substance
from what looked like a industrial paint container into a deep
fryer. By process of elimination, Veronica deduced that the gobs
of dough must be fatballs in the making.
toward the front of the wagon, Veronica spied the staging
area, the site in which the fatball assembly took place. Here
were grapefruit sized lumps of fried dough glistening with
corndog flavored oil. The balls were then cut open, unceremoniously
packed with either pudding or pie filling, wrapped into grease absorbing
paper and stuffed into a paper snowcone holder, then handed
the window to the eagerly awaiting fatball consumers.
We took our oliebollen to the gazebo to enjoy music from a Dutch
folk group direct from Holland, Moederleet. Just as we were contemplating
picking up a case of Heineken and heading backstage to party with
the band, the full impact of Davids vet ballen hit.
day amongst the tulips came to an abrupt and unfortunate end.
Lets just say that if you ever find yourself in Holland,
Michigan you might want to avoid the Shell station. The bathroom
will never be the same.
David & Veronica,