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Tulip festival going online for second year, but tulip beds at sites still open with COVID-19 guidelines

The Canadian Tulip Festival happens from May 14 to 24 in its 69th year.
20170523 Canada 150 Tulips KA 07
Photo/Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

Tulips may already be in bloom at Dow’s Lake, but the Canadian Tulip Festival isn’t happening for almost two weeks.

Like last year, the festival will be completely online, and doesn’t officially kick off until May 14. The 69th edition of the festival is slated to wrap up on May 24.

“The safest way to enjoy the tulips this year is online,” the festival’s executive director, Jo Riding, said in a statement. "With the information provided by Ottawa Public Health, we knew to prepare for a third variant-based wave this spring and have done everything we can to bring the tulips to Ottawa, Canada, and the World."

It's the second year that one of Ottawa's most attended festivals has had to go online due to COVID-19 precautions (Ontario’s stay-at-home order isn’t expected to end until May 19).

This year, the tulip festival is fundraising through the sale of fresh, locally-grown cut tulip bouquets, sold online for curbside pickup or next-day delivery to Ottawa residents.

All proceeds of the flower sales will go toward the continuation of the Canadian Tulip Legacy, a registered charity.

For those living near one of the thirty public tulip gardens in the region, festival goers are asked to wear a mask, visit at non-peak hours and follow social distancing guidelines while enjoying the flowers.

Admission to the festival site at Commissioners Park beside Dow’s Like is free.

Virtual walking tours with a live tour guide are being offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and cost $10 per ticket.

Festival parking at Queen Juliana Park will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $10 daily.

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