Skagit County, Washington, is famous for its tulips, and we celebrate during the entire month of April. This year, with unseasonably cold weather, the colorful blooms have not yet burst forth, but the bright sunny daffodils are braving the cool temps.
Events include art shows, bike tours, salmon feeds, wine tastings, street fairs, and of course walks among the acres of red, pink, yellow and purple tulips.
Skagit tulips originated with Dutch settlers and Mary Brown Stewart began raising bulbs for seed production in 1906. By 1997, 700 acres were used for bulb farming, with a value of $42 million, and were being exported wordl-wide, including back to Holland. The number of acres has decreased to about 300 today.
There is the story of a woman living in Skagit Valley who had placed an order for some special tulip bulbs from Holland. She eagerly awaited the shipment, but the weeks went by and the bulbs did not arrive. She contacted a columnist at a Seattle newspaper who checked out consumer complaints. A couple of days later, he called the woman back to say the Holland bulb company was extremely apologetic about the delay. They were waiting for their shipment of that bulb from Skagit County!