HOLLAND, Mich. — The near-half a million tulips planted for the 90th annual Tulip Time festival won't last long in Holland, but they're immortalized through pictures on social media.
"I keep looking at the Tulip Time hashtag and checking out all the pictures people take," said Emily Van Staalduinen, a greenhouse specialist for the city of Holland.
The wave of visitors taking and posting photos influenced Van Staalduinen as she and the parks supervisor designed the tulip gardens for the festival, including a key addition of grass paths at Window on the Waterfront.
"This area used to be a tulip field," Van Staalduinen said. "That doesn't allow people to engage as much within the tulip area. Rather than just seeing those big fields of color, people are looking for those intimate, more picturesque settings."
The city of Holland is always trying to outdo itself with Tulip Time displays each year, said Andy Kenyon, director of Parks and Recreation.
"It's that Kodak moment spot," Kenyon said. "We've created some bench areas, some seating spots, some platforms where people can get up above the tulip beds a bit and take pictures of them."
The change at Window on the Waterfront is part of a two-year project at the park. The city is planning to elongate the connected path for the 91st festival.
"Our plans in the future are maybe to mix colors together in the future have like a scale or gradient going," Van Staalduinen. "It's a long process and it really pays off in the end. Every year is going to be better than the last."
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