Celebrate spring in the blooming tulip fields


Sam Dunn photographed by Isabella Kneeshaw.

Sam Dunn, Staff Writer

After spending so much time inside during the cold and rainy months, it’s time to explore the best ways to celebrate the sun by visiting the “Heaven on Earth” Wooden Shoe Portland Tulip Festival. Opened on March 24, this 39th anniversary will last through April 30 and will aim to showcase millions of blooming flowers ranging from blush pink to black. Combined with a view of Mount Hood, this celebration makes for the perfect scenic photo for your Instagram feed.

The festival displays endless rows of flowers throughout 40 acres of dream-like beauty. It has numerous fun activities, including a cow wagon ride, the tulip market and more. Along with these attractions there is onsite food offered daily, ranging from donuts to Hotshot Bar-B-Q. After spending the day in the flower fields, I decided it was one of the best ways to celebrate spring. Bundles of flowers were gathered and bulbs were purchased for planting in my backyard to enjoy throughout summer. My favorite part was imagining myself in a hot air balloon, only because my school budget might not have been able to handle the real thing. This year, the festival operates beautiful and vibrant-colored balloons for the public to enjoy, either from the ground wishing or in the sky.

 The festival is continuing with its pandemic practice of purchasing tickets solely online. The options include a season ticket costing $55 and a day ticket costing $30; both are free for children 12 and under. Early risers also have the option for sunrise entry, which requires an alarm set for 4 a.m. and a strong cup of coffee. Personally, not my favorite option.

Something Zelda and I didn’t participate in is the annual 5K, 10K or ½ marathon trail run on March 18.  Perfect for the athletes searching for a new place to explore, these races start on the farm and include off-trail and roadways surrounding the tulips. If you missed this opportunity, registration for the 2024 races will be open in August of this year. 

One of the unique factors about this year’s festival is that opening started a week later than usual. Due to the lingering winter weather, ticket sales were available on March 24 as opposed to the typical mid-March opening. Although tulips were expected to be in full bloom, the weather took a turn and the flowers still were just budding. Despite being too early for the perfect shot, there were still many fun activities and hopeful outlooks for upcoming visits as we continue into a warmer spring.

If you have been searching for a perfect place to take pictures, run on beautiful trails, eat great food or fly in the sky above rows of endless flowers, you have one last chance to reserve your tickets to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival before it closes on April 30.