The annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is one of THE destination events for the Pacific Northwest. Each year, the festival welcomes people from across the United States and from around the world, including all 50 states and 85+ foreign countries! For over three decades, every spring hundreds of thousands of people come to enjoy the celebration of spring as millions of tulips burst into bloom in the farm fields north of Seattle. The Skagit Valley tulip festival runs April 1-30.
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About the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
In 1984, the Tulip Festival began as a 2-day event and eventually grew to include the entire month of April. Making the festival a month long helped to ensure that the huge fields of tulips (well over 300 acres) in the Skagit Valley would bloom sometime during the festival. Throughout the month, visitor can find blooming tulips is some of the fields. Ultimately, Mother Nature controls the bloom calendar!
Today the festival boasts an amazing assortment of related events, including art shows, concerts, gala celebrations, tours of local shellfish and farming operations, an open house at PACCAR Technical Center in Mount Vernon, and much more. The festival also provides a showcase for agriculture throughout the Skagit Valley. There are lots of additional activities: running events, bike rides, and basketball tournaments, to name a few. These fundraisers help raise money for local organizations. Signature events include:
- Tulip Festival Street Fair in Mount Vernon. April 15-17, 2022. One of the largest outdoor art shows in Northwest Washington, Street Fair, as it is known colloquially, features a half-mile of artisan vendors, live music, food trucks, and children’s activities in historic downtown Mount Vernon, WA. Visitors will find wearable art, jewelry, handcrafted furniture, art and sculpture for your home and garden, and one-of-a-kind treasures.
- Kiwanis Salmon Barbecue. Friday-Sunday, April 2 – May 1, 2022. For over 65 years, this event has helped support the Kiwanis’ mission of helping children. It’s a full meal with wild caught king salmon, baked potato, coleslaw, garlic bread, drink and ice cream bar. The club’s barbecue motto is, “It’s not about the fish, it’s about the kids.” Proceeds help kids, locally and internationally through agencies as Boys & Girls Club, Mount Vernon Parks Department, Friendship House, and Community Action. Projects include buying car seats for families, helping kids through Secret Harbor, awarding students with scholarships, and more.
For more information, visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival website.
How to enjoy the Tulip Festival
The festival is designed as a driving tour. There is no one “site” to visit. Fields of tulips are scattered throughout the Skagit Valley. The tulip fields are the crops of RoozenGaarde/Washington Bulb Co. Inc. and Tulip Town. You can enjoy the Tulip Festival as a short driving tour, a day-long getaway, or stay overnight in the area and enjoy many of the other activities, events, and local food. You can also download a map and brochure or stop by the visitor center in Mount Vernon for printed copies (311 W Kincaid St, Mount Vernon, WA 98273). Open daily April 1-30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info: Map – Tulip Festival
On the busiest days (weekends) it can take a fair amount of time to journey from the freeway to the tulip fields. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you stop in Mount Vernon on your way to the fields. You can take advantage of the public facilities available there BEFORE you journey out to the tulip area. If you are coming from the north, the Outlet Shoppes at Burlington is an easy stop with a chance to use the restrooms, stretch your legs (perhaps shop a bit), and then continue south on the freeway to the tulip fields. There are public restrooms at all the Tulip information centers in Skagit County and at the transit station in downtown Mount Vernon. More info: Printable map – Tulip Festival and Getting Here – Tulip Festival
As with all things governed by Mother Nature, the tulips bloom according to their own schedule at sometime during the festival. Further, due to crop rotation, the fields are in different locations each year. However, you can easily find where the tulips are located each year, using the current year map and brochure (see links below). RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town also have displays of tulips in gardens for visitors to view and photograph. More info: Getting Around – Tulip Festival
But wait, there’s more!
- Before you go, check our Skagit Valley trip planner
- Our list of Home & Garden shows in the Puget Sound region.
- And here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- Find more free and cheap things to do every day: Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Still more ideas for frugal fun: Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page.
Calendar of garden events
Listed below are upcoming garden tours and classes on our event calendar.