HOLLAND, Mich. — Tulip Time is now just under two weeks away, and as the City of Holland prepares for the festival, so do their local small businesses. Some, even make special products just for the beloved nine-day attraction.
"We're working on hand-making a lot of Holland, Michigan items like magnets, keychains, ornaments, and even Tulip Time-themed earrings that you can only find here," said Heather Ten Harmsel, Owner of The Poppy Peach in Downtown Holland on 8th Street.
Ten Harmsel has been preparing her small boutique for months.
"We don't really know what to expect because it's our first Tulip Time," she said, "but we're ready."
The Poppy Peach will offer all of the hand-made products, plus one-of-a-kind Holland shirts and custom prints from local artists.
"I wanted something that people won't be able to get somewhere else because it's hand-crafted, and hand-created by me," said Ten Harmsel. "I want it to be something that they can keep for a long time whether they're putting an ornament on their Christmas tree, giving the earrings to their grandkids, or wearing them themselves, just something that they can take home as a keepsake."
"You know when you go on vacation and you always want to take something little home with you, that's what we want to give," said Ashley Koetje. "And it's really a group effort to get everything ready for Tulip Time."
And it's not just clothing or gift shops making things extra-special.
Just down the street along River Avenue, Whit's Frozen Custard of Holland, is preparing for the beloved annual festival, too.
"We're excited, and a little anxious," said Whit's General Manager, Logan Sewell, "we're ready for it though."
"We're really looking forward to having all of the events back and getting more of a crowd," Sewell added. "It's always a great feeling having customers back in and out of the door all day long."
The custard shop is ready, but that's not without hard work and preparation.
"There is a lot of planning that goes into it," Sewell explained. "Just with the amount of product that we go through, a lot of inventory checks, and making sure that we are in touch with our suppliers."
Whit's is even bringing back a limited flavor just for Tulip Time that they hope will be a yearly tradition: Lemon Raspberry with a stroopwafel on the side.
"With the Spring, comes that festive, fruity, lemon raspberry flavor," Sewell said, "it just kind of ties into everything and has that taste to match it too."
Tulip Time starts on May 7th and runs through the 15th.
Stay with 13 ON YOUR SIDE for everything you need to know before and throughout the festival.
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