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It's Tulip Town

Skagit County is blooming

This week, the tulip fields are almost at peak bloom at the RoozenGaarde. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland, Courtesy of Roozengaarde (

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The 2018 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs through April 30. The festival is designed to be a driving tour and highlights the agriculture of the Skagit Valley. The tour is in its 34th year and people from all 50 states and more than 93 countries visit during festival time. It looks like the tulips will be at peak bloom by the weekend of April 14-15. Once at peak, the flowers stick around for a few weeks. Tulip Festival themed events are held throughout the area, everything from wine festivals, art exhibits, quilt walks and runs. Visit for more information.

Driving throughout the county you will see tulips and other spring blooms. On peak days traffic will be heavy with cars frequently stopping to see a field. To get up close and personal with the tulips, visit one of the two show gardens. For adults, I recommend Roozengaarde. This is a European-style garden and tulip fields that just beckon you to explore. Founder William Roozen is a six-generation tulip farmer who emigrated from Holland in 1947. His small farm has grown into the largest tulip-bulb grower in the country. This year's display garden features over 90 varieties of tulips and over 60 varieties of other flower bulb varieties. In addition to tulips, you can see daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, muscari and many more. Insider Tip: Military discount offered on admission and great prices on tulips (buy four bundles get one free). 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 15867 Beaver Marsh Rd., Mt. Vernon, 360.424.8531,

Tulip Town is a must-see with children. The DeGoede family also traces their origins to Holland. Jeannette DeGoede, owner and artist Lisa Corp, produced the book Tulip Fairy's Holiday about a fairy's visit to Tulip Town. This year, the "Dream Walk" has storyboards, which ties into the story making a great keepsake for children who visit Tulip Town. There are all kinds of children's activities and kids will love riding the trolley through the fields. The owners show their support to the military with a special Veterans' Garden and a Flag Garden. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 15002 Bradshaw Rd., Mt. Vernon, 360.424.8152,

Snow Goose Produce is a fresh food market, which is worth a stop on your way home from your tulip touring. They sell excellent ice cream from Lopez Island Creamery and Glacier Cascade. It's all served on their excellent homemade waffle cones, which seem to be eaten as fast as they make them. The smell of the cones baking on hot irons is intoxicating. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 15170 Fir Island Rd., Mt. Vernon, 360.445.6908,

A few things to know before you go. The fields are extremely muddy due to heavy rains. Many still have standing water. Wear rain boots and be prepared with children for the mud, it is irresistible. Wet wipes, a change of shoes and plastic bags for muddy shoes are essential. Plan to arrive just prior to opening for the gardens. Weekends are crowded, and consider a weekday if that is an option for your visit. Both gardens have food available on site and the towns of Mount Vernon and La Conner are good options for restaurants. 

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