Washington Park at Tulip Time - Color as Far as the Eye Can See

Thursday, April 28, 2016
There's probably not a more colorful place in springtime than Albany's Washington Park just before Tulipfest.  We had a chance to check out the colors today, a week before the big festivities and already the park was bursting with color.

yellow tulips

Almost everyone who lives in these parts is familiar with Tulipfest, but I wonder how many know of it's history.  I know I didn't - at least until I did a little research today.  According to the Tulip Festival's official website, on May 2, 1948 Charles Mooney wrote an editorial in the Knickerbocker Newspaper, "Albany has a soft spot in it's heart for tulips.  Following that editorial, Mayor Erastus Corning got a city ordinance passed declaring the tulip Albany's official flower.  That was in July of 1948.  He didn't stop there, he sent a letter to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands requesting a tulip variety be named as Albany's official tulip.  The Queen accepted his request and named the 'Orange Wonder' the tulip of Albany.  Mayor Corning then named a committee to create a festival celebrating Albany, America's oldest Dutch settlement, with tulips.   And this is how the story goes......

To quote their website: " May 14, 1949, Mayor Corning read the Tulip Festival  Proclamation to announce the premiere of our tradition. Opening ceremonies continued on State Street where members of the community scrubbed the street. This is a continuation of a tradition in the Netherlands wherein the streets are scrubbed prior to celebration. A King and Queen reigned over this first celebration and danced the night away at the Tulip Festival Ball, first held at the Washington Avenue Armory. Tulips could be seen in every small park in the city with the most colorful and vast array on display in Washington Park.  The tradition that exists in our festival is as rich as the tradition that exists in our Dutch heritage. The festival has evolved over the past 58 years, but still holds its roots in history. Pinksterfest was added to the venue in 1950 featuring crafts, food and entertainment that excited the involvement of the entire community. The tradition of the "Scrubbing of State Street" to open the festival, and the crowning of Albany's Tulip Queen still remain today."

Now that you know how it began, here's the real star of the tulip show - the beautiful tulips, already showing off a week before their big event!

red and yellow tulips

Don't forget to click on individual photos for a better look!

fringed peach tulips

wide view of Washington Park

Moses in Washington Park

Yellow Frittelarias

red and yellow tulips

Red fringed tulips

Yellow and pink tulips

masses of tulips

tulips everywhere

Tulip Festival officially happens on May 7th and 8th, but if you can't wait, or aren't interested in fighting the crowds, there's a lot to enjoy right now in Washington Park.   Just another example of the great stuff happening right here in our state capital.

Thanks for reading and please come back soon to Life As I See It where you never know where you'll find me, but you can be assured I'll have my camera in hand just waiting to collect life's precious moments!


  1. Gorgeous photos, Gail. My sweet husband and I are headed to Washington Park tomorrow to beat the crowds, just like you did :)

  2. FYI- http://www.albany.com/event/tulip-bulb-sale-92054/


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