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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (OK - just in the Dandenong Ranges of Melbourne, but still), there were fields of beautiful tulips, in all different colours. The colours were so bright, you could see them from miles away. People flocked from far and wide to see the beautiful tulips, exclaim over them, and take lots of selfies to share on social media.

One day, a little Dutch girl decided she wanted to go and see the tulips. Her family were visiting from the kingdom of the north, so they all went together. They hired a motor carriage and travelled the long distance, arriving at the tulip fields along with hundreds of other people, who parked their carriages in long rows in a neighbouring field.

The day was grey and a little bit rainy, but the gay colours of the tulips still stood out brightly. You could take a ride around the fields, or pick your own tulips, but the little girl and her family were happy to wander between the rows of flowers, admiring them, taking photos and getting lots of clay mud stuck to their shoes.

After looking at the tulips for so long, the little girl and her family were tired, so they went to the top of the tulip fields and bought some Dutch food from market stalls. They shared traditional Dutch chips with mayonnaise and drank Dutch beer, all the while watching an older couple play Dutch music live on the stage. The mother and sister even had a dance together on the footpath.

But that was not all the dancing at the tulip fields that day. At one in the afternoon, eight couples of advancing years stood up in a clearing and demonstrated traditional Dutch dances, wearing traditional Dutch costume. The crowd clapped their hands and hoped they would not be rained on.

Afterwards, the sister tried on a very big pair of Dutch wooden clogs, and had her picture taken with some of the Dutch dancers outside the Dutch clog shop. Then the little Dutch girl, mother and sister pretended to wear Dutch clothes by sticking their heads through holes in a wall. They looked very silly and decided not to buy any clogs or Dutch clothes of their own.

The little Dutch girl and her family had a very nice time seeing the tulips. They felt more Dutch than ever as they drove their motor carriage home again, where they lived happily ever after.

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival has been held annually each Spring since 1954, with over half a million tulips on display at 367 Monbulk Road, Silvan. It ran from 10am to 5pm daily between 11 September and 7 October this year, incorporating the September school holidays. The Dutch event was held from 19 to 21 September, and there were also Turkish, Irish, Children's, Seniors' and Jazz/Wine events over the course of the Festival. The 2015 Festival will run from 10 September to 6 October. Tickets are available online