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We next went to Nelis Dutch Village which was near our hotel. It was a beautiful morning and this was the re-creation of a Dutch Village. They had a carousel which we rode – just because we could. We sampled the cheese and looked at many gifts in the shop. We had an arranged lunch at a nearby restaurant – a fast, and uneventful meal (many meals were included in the tour price). We had a slice of ham, some green beans, mashed potatoes and some local bread. It was good and they restaurant was able to serve us quickly as the meal was pre-arranged. The bus was able to park in a special area near the viewing stands of the Muzienparade=Tulip Parade and we had a wonderful seat. We totally enjoyed the parade and it was beautiful weather. The parade started about 1:30 and lasted over 2 hours. We saw many floats, bands, and local company entries. (4,000 participants, 170 units on the longest parade route in Michigan.) I took many pictures and have included some here: (Note: the Michigan Band performs “Tiptoe through the tulips” as they march in their wooden shoes. Additional note: our bus-tour-guide explained that you had to wear many pair of socks with the shoes to pad your feet. She had on seven pair and said that others wear about nine pair. One more note: I wasn’t expecting the end of the Holland band and stopped the video and missed the picture. A person followed the band pulling a wagon containing a cardboard box with writing telling everyone that the wooden shoes may break during the parade and they pick them up and put them in the box. I presume that they also carry several pair of ‘spare’ shoes for band members.) The band was outstanding.
(1) Holland, Michigan High School Band – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejeSTpu2od8
(2) Holland, Michigan Tulip Festival costumed dancers (short video)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHkOz6EqSvE
(3) Holland, Michigan Tulip Festival costumed dancers – (Short Video) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXXe7DvOYBY
(4) Steel Drum Band (double-decker bus float) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-93p8rAD3s
After the parade, we went to the cultural building of the city and saw someone making wooden shoes. There were vendors selling local products and a local biologist who told about the tulips that are used by the city for planting and how they are grown. Very interesting information.
After the cultural building, we had a tour of “Coppercraft Distillary”. We were beginning to get weary and the tour didn’t include seating, so many of us returned to a nearby chair. We heard about the company and their making the products that they sell. We also had a sample of the gin and bourbon. Some of us bought gifts and the owner included a glass ‘gift’ to each attendee.
After the tour, we went to a local Methodist church who had a fundraiser of serving dinner to groups. We had a buffet line to serve lasagna. The church volunteers helped serve us drinks and had set-up the room. The tables were decorated with wooden shoes and had a flag for its ornament. We were the only group there for dinner, but it was apparent to us that they were prepared for a much larger serving. Someone asked about their efforts and were told that the church had previously served 1200 meals there. I guess that we were the last group and they would take-away the tables and prepare the room for their Sunday events after we left.