HOLLAND, Mich. — With the 90th Tulip time just a few months away, seamstresses are working frantically to produce more than 100 authentic Dutch replica costumes, while organizers work to make them more affordable.
Each costume is designed for a specific dancer and takes around 10-20 hours to sew, said Kim Hekman, costume director for the middle school program.
“We have a lot of grandmas or moms who sew,” Hekman said. “By the last week in January, we've started cutting costumes out so that the seamstresses have time to make them."
The costumes, which reflect Dutch style from the late 1800s and early 1900s, are expensive. Each garment costs around $300 to complete.
Not all dancers can afford to participate in the Dutch dance program, said Victoria Raterink, a program manager at Tulip Time.
The organization is hosting a gala on Saturday, March 23 to fundraise for 200 costumes and eliminate cost as a barrier. Sponsors have already raised $27,500.
“Keeping this program going is essential to the success of the festival,” Raterink said. “People come to see the Dutch dancers and to see the authentic representation of that piece of the festival."
This is the first year with a middle school program, which makes the year even bigger, Hekman said.
“It’s a complex process, but there’s lots of people to help make others successful at helping us with it,” she said.
Information for the gala can be found here.
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