Standing in the middle of this vast field will remind you of a scene from The Wizard of Oz; everywhere you turn at the first annual Abbotsford Tulip Festival, densely packed multicoloured tulip bulbs are in full bloom.
The 10-acre (435,600-square-foot) attraction is backdropped by the Fraser Valley’s mountains to the north, east, and south, including the snowcapped peaks of Mount Baker if the weather conditions are fair.
Approximately 2.5 million bulbs of 50 varieties are showcased at the field just off the Trans-Canada Highway about a 90 minute drive from downtown Vancouver.
The tradition of growing flowers at the site began in 1950 when Peter Wamerdam, an immigrant to Canada from the Netherlands, celebrated his Dutch heritage by practicing his horticultural and farming knowledge. This year’s inaugural Tulip Festival on the site was introduced by his granddaughter, Alexis.
Visitors at the festival can stroll through the field and along its perimeters. There is also a covered picnic area, family-friendly activities such as a hay bale playground and duck races, and a ‘U-Pick’ area where visitors can handpick their own bouquets to take home.
If you’re looking to make the most out of your trip to the Fraser Valley, other nearby attractions include Cultus Lake, the Greater Vancouver Zoo, and a number of wineries and up-and-coming craft breweries.
Science World has a satellite facility just one kilometre away from the Festival at the EcoDairy demonstration farm on 1356 Sumas Way. The interactive education facility promotes agricultural technology and environmental sustainability with interactive exhibits, animal exhibits of cows and goats, and more.
When: Daily until Sunday, May 1
Time: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Where: 36737 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford
Price: $5 to $15, with complimentary parking weekdays