Tulip time tower
1935 was the first year the Tulip Time festival was held in Pella. The streets of downtown Pella are lined with tulips during this three day festival during the beginning of may.
During this festivals there are lots of things to see free of any charge. Besides the tulips you can see dutch dancers at the Pella square, watch a parade float portraying dutch customs.
In 1940 they made a wooden version of the current Tulip tower. It was inspired by a biblival description of Solomon's temple.
The orginal tower was removed after three years because of the detorioration.
As a gift to the community of Pella in 1968 the current tower was built and every year during tulip time the colors of the dutch flags are flown from the 65 foot high tower.
Picture taken June 10th, 2004
Pella, Iowa. Nice people, great bakery
"A work trip to Pella"
In 1847, 800 Dutch folks decided that they were fed-up with the belligerent state church interfering in their lives. I guess they were also un-fed-up with the fact that a potato disease was making it tough to eat. So they said, “Onse Gann”, (Dutch for, “We’re outta here”, sort of). They found a deal on land in Iowa, at $1.25 an acre, just out of Des Moines, & came to what is now Pella, Iowa.
This is my fourth trip to Pella, and I like it! It isn’t a big place, about 10,000 people & most of the people seem really nice. It’s not big enough to have a traffic problem (a big plus for me). It is, however, big enough to have all the stuff you really need. Besides, Des Moines is only 40 minutes away if you must have a Macy’s.
I think that a lot of Americans know of a company called, “Pella Windows & Doors”. Yes, the headquarters is here in Pella. To read some history of Pella will mean that you will read about Pella Windows. It is a pretty good All-American success story, started by some immigrants who worked hard & smart. Who counted on diligence & quality to build what is now an internationally respected company.
As you might expect, many of the homes & business of Pella have some super nice windows.
The town is really pretty & clean & has some cool history. There are unusual Dutch styled buildings, including a smattering of windmills. The main downtown area is center-pieced by a pretty garden park & surrounded by businesses with facades that make you think of wooden shoed, Netherlands.
The people that you may encounter in town seem to be happy to be here, & the business proprietors seem happy to see you. It’s really kind of odd, in a nice way. Think, Mayberry, meets old Amsterdam.
The shops (maybe, shoppes) are small but inviting, & range from bicycles to specialty meats, but my favorite find has got to be the Jaarsma Bakery. http://www.jaarsmabakery.com/
Mind you, I haven’t done an exhaustive research on this (the research continues); but I think this the best bakery ever. I heard a story once, that Antonio Stradivari claimed that God decided he wanted the perfect violin, so he created Antonio Stradivari (the man), to make it possible. Well, if God wanted the perfect pastry, then I guess he created Harmon Jaarsma and his family. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by.
I happen to be in Pella just two weeks before a key event; a festival weekend called Tulip Time. It’s a pretty big deal, known by all in south Iowa. It was officially started in 1937, but it seems to unofficially have been going on for much longer. Tulip Time is a celebration of Dutch heritage, the spirit of the early settlers who came to Pella & to Tulips, of course. The festival brings in thousands of tourist every year. If you want to attend, then you’d better book at least a year in advance. During Tulip Time, the locals come out dressed in authentic Old Dutch costumes & reenact some historical activities. There is a big parade, complete with flowered floats & bands from all over. The Tulip Queen will be chosen & crowned; also, some of the town leaders will make small speeches praising the tenacity of the early founders. The garden square will be covered with beautiful, just bloomed, Tulips (being here two weeks early they are only in their leafy stage). I was told that you “look, not touch’, when it comes to the Tulips. Before & during the festival there could be as much as a$200 fine for flower picking.
I would very much like to be here during the festival, I’m sure that it would be great fun in spite of the added traffic.
I’m a guy who is more likely to enjoy a hot climate, and I’m not usually a big fan of places that have the potential to be very cold. All of Iowa certainly has the potential to be very cold in the winter, so that would normally rule it out of my list of places to live, however; Pella may be an exception. There is a lot to like about Pella, what’s a little sub-zero winter temps among friends.
stuman714's new Pella Page
My Mom was born and raised here, and my Grandparents lived here until they died in the early '80s and '90s.
My Grandfather, Kenneth H. Bean, founded the Marion County State Bank in Pella in the late '20s, early '30s, and the picture attached is a borrowed copy from the www.pella.org and MCSB sites.