Monday, May 19, 2014

Tulip Time || What We Do

Hello Dears!
We are finally here to share with you, as promised and anticipated, what it is our family exactly does during the festival in our area called Tulip Time. We took as many chances as possible to snap photos to share with and to open the window to a little part of our lives during this busy week with you!
Shall we begin with this photo (hopefully not boring) overload?

 What Our Specifics Are                                                                                      
While we (us girls) were still quite young, around the age of 8, we began helping clear tables and also prepare food with our Aunt in the kitchen of the food court that is at Holland's Civic Center. Which also includes vendors and a stage for entertainment (more on those later). Our Aunt is the go-to person for our entire food line which consists of only traditional Dutch foods. Every cent that is raised, above the expenses, is given to women and children missions around the world. It has become a tradition for us to be of help in this way each year for such a great and meaningful cause.

 What you are seeing here is just some of the foods that we offer and then the food line in use- the people who are sporting black and white also do so much by helping serve the foods. They are volunteers from the two different churches (one of which our Aunt attends) that sponsor and puts every detail in place. There is always SO much that goes on behind the scenes!
The last photo above shows the end of the line and our work area/supplies and the small kitchen is the door opening. Other than that small over-worked room, we have to take soiled dishes across the auditorium to the other end which has a much larger kitchen, but lacks a hallway. And interestingly enough, we keep a tent outside (just about ten feet behind from where you would be standing if you took that last photo) with our ovens, friers, and stoves we use to bake most of the food fresh each day!

But I have gotten a little off track as to what our sole responsibilities are during the week. Even though we all help each other, the food line is not our designated area.
We are in charge of the dining room- keeping people moving after performances, (the stage is in front of the tables shown above so to the side of Bek in the photo) picking up litter from the floor, keeping the rows clear for the occasional wheelchair, directing people to the un-metionable, wiping down tables every chance we get, and taking empty food trays from people. And, cleaning them. That is what keeps us busy. Oh! And posing for a few thousand photos for tourists in our costumes!

 Here we are posing with an inquisitive tourist! [Sorry it's rather blurry, Bekah was taking a breather in the balcony when she took it.]
 Rinsing the trays with a water and vinegar solution, giving them a wash down, and then bringing them down the hall the the beginning of the line, can be an overwhelming and tedious job when they really pile up, but getting a stack done and then enjoying the jaunt down the hall is always rewarding! [Even if it is hard to squeeze past 50 people while carrying 30 trays!]

The Performers                                                                                                   
Ranging from high school Dutch dancers and Town Crying competitions to Master Gardener "How To Grow Tulips" presentations and Kinder Dutch dancers, (children ages 7-12) it is all presented on stage right there! Even though the songs can get old in a hurry, and there is only so many times you really want to hear that blood-meal will keep squirrels out of your tulip beds, watching all the people never does! There is such a ginormous variety of people who flock to the festivities!
One new event that has never been held before is shown above. The town criers each chose a willing Kinder Dancer and showed them publicly a few tips on what they do and then let them have a go at it! We are all hoping not only the Criers return next year, but bring more of their liveliness and charm in years to come!
 We also had the very first annual pig-in-the-blanket competition final judging held on the Civic Center stage! And *drum roll* our Mom took second place! Oh, and how do you like the judges' trendy bibs?

A girlfriend of ours from the Dutch Heritage Show talked about how much the Dutch depended on their dogs. Her presentation was very accurate and interesting. She did wonderfully! We are hoping she will bring this new history entertainment back next time around!

Oh yes! I thought we'd include this nice shot of where the parades come through, right past the Civic Center! And yes, we do have the ability to go up to the balcony whenever we want to watch the parades, it is quite fun from up above where we can see so much and at the same time keep an eye on what is going on down below inside!

Where We Crash                                                                                     
Back before our entire family took over the dining room, us girls would just stash our water and lunches in the mini kitchen and keep something cool to drink over by our tray washing station. But once our Mom decided to get more involved, and really be in charge of the whole dining room, we brought everyone along including some of our own church friends who wanted to help out. Lots of people take up lots of room! We decided we needed to have something more practical/permanent for the week.
We ended up taking over the mens' hardly ever used dressing room and restroom that is conveniently located just down the hall from the kitchen, dining room, and tray washing station. Other than a few poor souls who don't know any better and embarrassingly walk in on a group of girls eating their lunches, it work out well.  :-)

Remember when we found this little guy? How were we to leave him home all day when he needs to be fed so often? You guessed it! We took him along wherever we went that whole week! What do you think, hillbilly homeschoolers gone too far?   Ha ha!

We also stopped one night, after all of our Dutch Heritage shows were complete, (we had to be to the Civic Center by 10 and then stay till 5:30/6 and then head over to do shows at 6:30, Tues.-Thurs.) to grab a couple movies, which is a treat for us since we usually aren't able to go all the way back into town the following day to return the film as the 'redbox' devise prefers. We actually found a couple interesting and somewhat wholesome movies which nice in itself!

The Vendors                                                                                                                  
Oh my! There is so much to share and experience! We didn't even get a glimpse of everything available! But these are the few we got around to photographing.

Up first we have the charming Dutch emporium of unique trinkets and deft blue wears. If you ever have the chance of visiting our festival and happen upon the Civic Center and the vendors, be are sure to add something from this fabulous collection to your own shopping bag to bring back home with you as a memento!

 A few years ago this wonderful gentleman [who makes just as wonderful goodies for those with a sweet-tooth!] joined the 'family' of vendors. His creamy fudges, chocolate dipped strawberries, and genuinely friendly nature are sure to bring you back for more!

 Are you gaping yet? In the middle of our square we have had the privilege of having kindhearted Mrs. N with us for the past three years and her wonderful hand-beaded purses and demonstrations. Her work is absolutely stunning and her testimony of faith have been a big blessing and enlightenment to everyone!

Besides these vendors, there is also an on-sight wooden shoe carver, loom weaving demos, stained glass beauties, hand made doll Dutch clothing, a couple this and that booths, and an entire booth with Dutch cheeses plus samples to try each one before buying!


When the day is done, we head home to repack our bags, grab some kind of dinner on the way, and squeeze in a bath or two before hitting the hay and taking care of the animals. That is if we didn't have a show that night!
When we first got into running the dining room, pretty much as a family, our percentage of the profits was going towards wells for Living Water International We have now finished our donation amount that we had been raising at various craft shows and odd jobs. So this year our profit will be given to some last minute expenses while we girls are gone on the Mission Trip for our family's needs.
There is so much more to enjoy when you visit downtown Holland during Tulip Time that we didn't even mention! Our world during this time revolves around the Civic Center. Good thing, otherwise who knows how long this could have have been!

Thanks all, so much for stopping by and reading through a part of our lives!
We hope that you had a refreshing Lord's day and are ready for the coming week!

Make sure to leave a comment if you have any questions!

Blessings your way,
for the Shag Girls


  1. Wow, this looks like a lot of fun and a lot of exhaustion! It was fun to see all your pictures. :D

  2. I am half Belgian, and I've been to Holland quite a dew times, so this was interesting to look at.
    Spreken jullie ook Nederlands? Haha.

  3. My goodness, you were busy! It sounds like so much fun, though! Oh, I have to add, that bunny is adorable!

  4. Oh! I so wish I could have been there! Maybe some year!

  5. Ah! This was absolutely wonderful! Yay! I finally get to see what it's like up there for the festival, and goodness does it look fun AND exhausting! I am so glad you shared with us a couple of pictures and stories of the venders! Mrs. N sounds like an incredible lady, and of course those chocolate sticks were quite tempting. :)

    I take my hat off to your family's hard work, girls, and say, "Bravo!".

    Fondly as ever,

    The eldest sister & singer

  6. That looks like loads of fun. You are such a hard workers! The food looks so delicious, it's making me hungry. :) I have a friend who is part Dutch and her mother knows a lullaby in Dutch.
    What a blessing you must have been to all those people, good job! *applause*

    Naomi //

  7. So enjoyed this post! It does look like lots of hard work but a lot of fun too!

  8. I was just in Michigan this weekend! What part was the festival in?

    1. It's in Holland MI, sort of near to Grand Rapids. ;-)
      ~Calico Sisters

  9. Oh how absolutely fun! It would be awesome to go and see it all in person someday. I love your costumes! I hope you will be doing more posts on them, I enjoyed Rebekah's so much!


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  10. You were talking about the Tulip Festival in Holland!!! I desperately wanted to go this year, but it just didnt work out... =(

    XX Hannah

  11. Wow, that looks like so much fun!! Thanks for sharing about it. :)
    All those purses are gorgeous! And that's so funny that you brought the rabbit with you. He's SO adorable.

  12. I was in Holland last weekend, right after Tulip Time! When I returned home I was talking with my sisters and I suddenly realized how close I was to you ladies. It is too bad I didn't think of it then, maybe we could have met!!

  13. Your Tulip Time job looks very interesting! Need help? Sorry; I'm too busy! LOL.

  14. Oh wow! I am so glad that I decided to go back and read your older posts. I have just become recently interested/convicted in dressing more modestly so your site has been quite helpful with outfit ideas and insights. I knew you were in Michigan like me, but you are in my town! I love Holland even though we only moved here a few years ago. Tulip Time is so fun and special thanks to people like you...I am really enjoying sharing it with my two little boys and hopefully we will have two little clog dancers in our family someday ;)


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