Last week, my family and I attended the first American Tulip Day in San Francisco, CA. On March 3, 2018, tulip farmers set out 100,000 tulips in the middle of Union Square. There were rows and rows of gorgeous tulips in red, yellow, purple, pink, orange, and white. This was a free event and anyone in the area was welcome to take home the tulips at no charge. We had such a good time and brought home a BUNCH of tulips!
2018 American Tulip Day in Union Square
During American Tulip Day, visitors lined up at Union Square in San Francisco. Staff members then handed out a small paper bag as people entered the area. Though the line wrapped around the square, the line went pretty fast. Each person could take as many tulips that could fit in their bag. The tulips were still attached to their bulbs so visitors had to carefully pull the flowers from the damp dirt they were planted in. This was all 100% free!
It was such a sight to see locals and tourists fill their bags with tulips. We saw singles, families, grandparents, children, and everyone in between picking flowers in their favorite colors. There were plenty for everyone and, even with an hour left, many tulips were still waiting to be taken home.
Bringing Home the Happy From Tulip Day
When we got home, Munchkin and I trimmed the flowers and placed them in vases. Some of the tulips were drooping but, as soon as they were put in water, they popped right back up again. The flowers were much bigger than ones we normally find in stores and lasted for a good week. Plus, the colors stayed vivid the entire time and they were so pretty. With dozens of tulips filling the living space, our home felt so spring-y and cheery!
Many might wonder why the tulip farmers would do this. A similar Tulip Day, known as Tulpendag, happens annually in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. For the past ten years, farmers put out 250,000 for residents and visitors to bring home. This welcomed springtime and brought attention to Dutch-grown tulip bulbs. By holding an American Tulip Day, attention could be given to this major export market here in the States. If the San Francisco event went well in, organizers were hoping to bring it back again in following years.
Hoping for an Annual Springtime Tradition in San Francisco
Well, the 2018 American Tulip Day was a hit! Tons of people left Union Square with monstrous bouquets of tulips and ear-to-ear smiles to go with them. Throughout San Francisco, you could see people walking with bundles of tulips. Even after we drove several blocks toward the freeway entrance, we saw pedestrians crossing the street with tulips in their hands or bags. Talk about effective product promotion!
When we first heard about American Tulip Day, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised, though, and hope the event returns next year. When it does, I’ll make sure to let you know. 😉 Until then, visit the official event site for more information.