Tulips galore in Ottawa
May 14, 1997
Web posted at: 12:00 a.m. EDT (0400 GMT)
(CNN) -- Ottawa, Ontario is celebrating a thank-you gift that grows more glorious with each passing year. The city is holding its 47th annual Canadian Tulip Festival through May 19. Organizers call it the world's largest tulip festival.
The event has its roots in a gift from Princess Juliana of the Netherlands. In 1945, she presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs in appreciation of the haven Canada provided the royal family during World War II, and as thanks for Canada's role in liberating the Netherlands.
Today, organizers say, there are three million tulips in bloom. The festival has grown along with the number of flowers. Musical entertainment, a regatta, sheep-shearing demonstrations, dancing, dining and poetry readings compliment the flower-viewing.
This year, the festival recognizes Japan for its contributions to floral artistry and horticulture. Special activities include ikebana (flower-arranging) and Bonsai (miniature tree) displays, Taiko drum performances, tea ceremony demonstrations, origami lessons, kite-making and Japanese calligraphy workshops.
About 600,000 people are expected to attend. For more information, visit the Canadian Tulip Festival Homepage (listed below).
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