Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are all part of the beauty at the Chilliwack Tulip Festival. (Submitted photo)

Chilliwack Tulip Festival begins with hyacinths and daffodils

Annual festival draws in tens of thousands of visitors, keen to enjoy floral displays

Spring has sprung and it’s time to behold the beauty of flowers.

Hyacinths and daffodils will be blooming soon, as a sort of opening act to the Chilliwack Tulip Festival (formerly Tulips of the Valley.) This year’s festival begins on April 10 and will include more than 6.5 million bulbs. The festival has been held annually since 2006, and is Western Canada’s largest and longest-running tulip fest.

Tens of thousands of people will pop in to bask in the bright colours, take photographs and enjoy the scenery all around the festival’s grounds.

Festival founder Kate Onos-Gilbert and her family — who have become one of the country’s foremost “grow-to” tulip experts — have primed their fields to offer visitors an incomparable explosion of colour, fragrance, and all-ages fun.

Beginning April 10, the first two weeks of the festival will feature 10 varieties of hyacinths and 17 varieties of daffodils, and include one-of-a-kind, handmade floral mosaics. From the second weekend forward, an awe-inspiring 30 varieties of tulips will be in bloom, totalling more than 6.5 million bulbs in all the colours of the rainbow, planted in extra wide rows for easy viewing and convenient photo opportunities. Overall, there are 20 acres of spring beauty to behold.

And all of the other family-friendly attractions from past years will be returning: the Rotary Train (weekends only), weekend food trucks (including fresh, authentic Dutch “stroop” waffles), a something-for-everyone flower-themed gift shop, and tractor rides.

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival offers a spectacular environment for photographers, whether in the fields, next to the windmill and traditional Dutch bicycle, or from the festival’s famous tulip swing over the flowers. Every year the festival creates new photo-op locations on their fields, and this year is no exception with a few new surprises for visitors to discover.

“Tulips of the Valley has been a labour of love for me and my family since we started growing tulips decades ago,” says Kate Onos-Gilbert. “Although we’ve changed its name this year, returning visitors will find everything they’ve always loved about the festival, while newcomers will be overwhelmed by one of the most beautiful, elaborate displays of flowers to be found anywhere in Canada. This is a true celebration of springtime and the beauty of nature. We look forward to welcoming everyone for our 13th amazing year.”

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival runs every day from April 10, for approximately four weeks, and is located just minutes from Highway 1, at 41310 Yale Rd. Parking is free. For complete details, including ticket pricing, visit chilliwacktulipfest.com.

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