Folks enjoy day 1 of Orange City's Tulip Festival 2017

Wooden shoes, Poffertjes and parade among festival favorites

ORANGE CITY, Iowa - It's tulip time in Orange City and that means, it's festival time.

Downtown Orange City, folks get to 'Discover the Dutch,' with Tulip Festival tradition, including a major symbol of Dutch heritage, wooden shoes.

"The Netherlands is all below sea level and as a way to keep their feet dry while working in the fields, the Dutch started wearing wooden shoes," said shoe carver, Mike Hofman. "It's just kind of been a tradition and an iconic thing that carried on."

Hofman has been carving shoes for 5 years but what most people don't know, Orange City has been doing it since the mid-1930's.

"Interacting with people and visiting with them and answering their questions about wooden shoes," said Hofman. "Why we do it, explaining the process to them because many of them don't really understand how they get made, you start with a block of wood and then you end up with this little shoe and they're just amazed that that's something people do."

Another big part of the festival, is the traditional Dutch food.

Poffertjies, being one of the staples, folks can't seem to get enough of.

Dollar-sized pancakes, coated with rum butter and powdered sugar.

"You cannot share a tray of Poffertjes, you have to have your own, so people just keep coming back for more," said Jodi Vander Zwaag from the Dutch Heritage Boosters. "We usually have lines that are to the sidewalk and people are willing to wait in line for them cause' they're that good."

Vander Zwaag said they sell roughly 7,500 trays of Poffertjes, each year.

Of course, the Tulip Festival Parade, something enjoyed by everyone.

"It's a fun thing to bring your family to and get out of the house and enjoy outside," said Vander Zwaag.

 

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