Orange City, Iowa — The annual Orange City Tulip Festival Extravaganza was held on Wednesday, March 18. The event featured a luncheon and program during which the costumes for the 2015 Tulip Queen and Court were revealed, the 2015 Parade Marshal was introduced, and the commissioned artwork for the 75th annual festival was unveiled.
Members of the 2015 Tulip Court are Queen Cara Venema, daughter of Dan and Tonya Venema; Jennifer Droog, daughter of Rick and Sue Droog; Sydney Huizenga, daughter of Darren and Dawn Huizenga; Micah Vande Vegte, daughter of Gary and Amy Vande Vegte; and Emily Wielenga, daughter of Kevin and Dixie Wielenga.
Queen Cara and her Court will wear the authentic dress from mid- to late 19th century Friesland. This is the first time the Friesland costume from the era has been introduced at Tulip Festival.
The costumes include voluminous, ankle-length skirts and fitted jackets that feature a v-shaped overlay, fitting over the apron. The Court members’ skirts and jackets are made from a cotton calico fabric, and Queen Cara’s are made of an eggplant-colored satin. The white aprons and shawls worn by the royal Court are lace-edged and feature hand-embroidered, authentic Dutch motifs. Queen Cara’s apron is made of a fine black lace and her shawl is fine white lace edged in lace trim.
The hats worn by the 2015 festival royalty are made of fine white lace that was pleated, starched and sewn to a crown of similar lace. Two gold filigree decorations adorn the Court members’ hats from the year 1900, while Queen Cara’s hat from the year 1860 is embellished with two gold hatpins and four gold filigree decorations.
The Friesland dress is accessorized with gold teardrop earrings, necklaces, bracelets and velvet purses that feature hand-beaded work.
An additional highlight to the Extravaganza was the introduction of this year’s parade marshal. The Tulip Festival Steering Committee was pleased to honor Harley Kleinwolterink as the parade marshal for the 75th annual Tulip Festival.
As a trained carpenter, Kleinwolterink has served the festival for over 20 years through the construction and refurbishing of several parade entries and floats.
Kleinwolterink’s first Tulip Festival project was the construction of the scissors-sharpening cart in the mid-1980s. The cart continues to be pushed in each parade during the Dutch Heritage Walk.
Utilizing his innate craftsmanship, Kleinwolterink has led and assisted with the construction and refurbishing of several floats seen in Tulip Festival parades, belonging to both the festival and First Reformed Church. His work continues in 2015 as he is assisting with the construction of a float celebrating the 75th year of Tulip Festival.
“Harley’s commitment to creating unique and prestigious floats has greatly enhanced the parades and experience offered to community members and visitors,” says Arlyn Schaap, co-chairman of the Steering Committee. “We are so grateful for his dedication to our celebration.”
A third piece of the Extravaganza program was the unveiling of the commissioned art piece by local artist John E. Vander Stelt.
The oil painting, entitled “A Faithful Walk,” features a father and son in the foreground, both of whom are wearing clothing from the province of Volendam. The father is carrying buckets of water with the assistance of a traditional yoke, while his son takes a curious peek inside a bucket.
“I wanted to paint a scene that would take a glimpse into the heritage of the community and of the festival,” says Vander Stelt.
The painting also features a Dutch windmill in the distance, highlighted by a recent sunset, and a long path on which the father and son are standing.
“The winding path connects and leads from the present where the father and son stand, to the past with roots in the Netherlands,” Vander Stelt describes.
Two options of prints of the work are available for purchase at the Tulip Festival office. The first option is a traditional print on sterling paper, 75 of which are signed and numbered by Vander Stelt. The paper is sized at 22”x22” and the print at 18”x18.” Print number 1/75 will be framed and auctioned off at the grand opening of Stadscentrum later this spring.
A canvas print of the work, sized at either 24”x24” or 30”x30,” can also be ordered through April 30.
The original art piece, sized at 30”x30,” will be on display at Stadscentrum during Tulip Festival.
Tulip Festival news, event information and volunteer opportunities can be found on the festival website at www.octulipfestival.com, and on the festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages.