The Ottawa tulip festival, actually named the Canadian Tulip Festival is held for three weeks every May. Over these three weeks, as the tulip gardens come into bloom, concerts, lectures, and other performances - both indoor and out - are held as the city celebrates the arrival of warmer weather.
The Canadian Tulip Festival is the largest festival in the world, and in 2009 was expanded to every day of the three week period instead of just on the weekends.
The festival had its start in 1945 when Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs in appreciation for the safe haven offered to exiled Dutch royalty and the role Canadian troops played in the liberation of the Netherlands.
In the years following 1945, the tulips became a symbol of international friendship as more and more events were planned around their blooming.
Aside from the tulips, highlights include
Performances at the Mirror Tent, including by the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, musical acts and guest speakers.
More than 300,000 tulips decorate Commissioners Park, one of the festival's key sites. Buskers, musicians and working artists add to the festivities.
Landsdowne Park is home to the International Pavilion with food stands, performances and other global offerings.
Major's Hill Park hosts a vintage carnival and circus school where children as young as 3 can participate by learning how to juggle or tightrope walk with experts. Older kids may be interested in trying the unicycle. Rides, including a ferris wheel, merry-go-round, Scrambler and toddler train round out the fun. Tickets required.
Cycling is a great way to get around the tulip festival. Many events are free or low cost at the Ottawa Tulip Festival. Tulip viewing itself is free. Performances at the Mirror Tent are required and range in cost.
According to tripsavvy