The tulips are waiting on the weather.
The opening week of the Abbotsford Tulip Festival has seen 30 or so tulips bloom. Now, organizers are just waiting for three miillion or so more.
On a post on the festival’s Facebook site, organizers write: “It’s opening week for the festival and as unpredictable as Mother Nature’s been, we’re hopeful that her warmer, brighter personality will shine through more regularly, so that our tulips can bloom and proudly radiate their impressive colour scheme. Our fingers are crossed and our hopes are sky-high.”
Organizers note the festival is a “living” event, and weather-dependent. While some have already visited, organizers are hoping for more colour over the next week. While rain dominates the long-term forecast, the sun is currently expected to show itself on Sunday for Easter.
Once the blooms do come out, the challenge could become accommodating a flood of visitors.
The festival announced last month that they would be capping weekend and holiday ticket sales this year.
Last year, the month-long event drew more than 100,000 visitors, but so many people flocked to the North Parallel Road site on some weekends that highway traffic became congested and parking became a problem. Last fall, the Agricultural Land Commission rejected the festival’s request for additional parking on site, with a panel ruling that existing facilities on site were adequate.
This year, the event is looking to encourage people who want to see the tulips to visit during less busy times.
The festival will require advanced purchases for weekend tickets on its website. Weekday tickets will be available on site. And the festival will also sell discounted tickets, for $2, to locals, or groups that include a single Abbotsford resident (with proof of address) visiting Tuesday or Thursdays after 3 p.m.
It has also dubbed itself “Bloom, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival.”