Woodland tulips

Luann Block of Vancouver has better success finding the right tulips than keeping her umbrella in its normal configuration as she and her granddaughter walk through the U-Pick Field at the Holland America Flower Gardens on South Pekin Road in Woodland.

Woodland’s annual Tulip Festival, a spring staple for flower lovers for 15 years, has been canceled for 2018.

In a press release, festival sponsor Holland America Flower Gardens blamed Southwest Washington’s perennially gloomy spring weather.

“While the Tulip Festival was a joy to host, the unpredictable weather and turn-out puts a strain on vendors that commit time and resources to being here for those two weekends in April,” the press release said. “The lack of a Tulip Festival takes nothing away from the fields of tulips that people come to see.”

This would have been the festival’s 16th year.

According to Holland America, visitors can still visit the Tulip Show Field to take photos, purchase cut tulips in their gift shop or pick their own tulips in the U-Pick Field at 1066 South Pekin Road.

JJ Burke, executive director of the Woodland Chamber of Commerce, said he understands Holland America’s cancellation. He said Benno Dobbe, the leader of Holland America, told him that getting vendors to visit during rainy months is difficult. Dobbe was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

However, Burke doesn’t think the lack of a festival will discourage people from visiting Holland America or Woodland as a whole.

“People are still going to come and look at the tulips,” he said. “People are coming in right now. They’ll be here for Lilac Days, too. We’ll be okay.”

Holland America Retail Manager Ayla Findlay said this year’s cancellation doesn’t mean the festival is gone forever.

“It’s always possible. I will never say never,” she said.

Holland America’s extensive Show and U-Pick fields are open from dawn until dusk throughout the tulip season. The gift shop is open Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The tulip season lasts until Mother’s Day.

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