HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Holland's biggest festival of the year is just days away and this year the flowers are cooperating. Organizers and tulip farmers say the tulips are right on schedule for the festival, unlike last year when many bloomed early.
After last year's warm weather, humorous T-shirts were created that read 'Stemfest.' However, this year tulip farmers are pushing for a new slogan.
"We actually have 'bud fest' going on," says Jim Veldheer, president of Veldheer Tulip Gardens. "The selection is the best it's ever been."
The explosion of tulip colors comes just as the Tulip Time festival is set to begin.
"That's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, I've never seen anything like it," says one lady pointing to a garden of tulips.
Veldheer credits the cold and wet weather.
"While you and I were shivering and people were complaining about the cold, the tulip was going 'yes this is what I want!'" says Veldheer.
Veldheer says this year there are more than 400 varieties of tulips. Some are named after past presidents, others named after Disney characters. There's even an ice cream tulip.
"It looks like someone took a scoop of vanilla ice cream and dumped it on top," says Veldheer.
Some of those flowers have yet to bloom, but Veldheer says better late than early. "When you have buds, you have a future you can look forward to, when you have stems it's all over," says Veldheer.
Tulip Time organizers say the flower buds will be in full bloom for next week's festival.
Veldheer says his tulip garden has more tulips at one location than any other place in the world. He says many of the tulips will still be in bloom a week after the festival as well.