Tulip Time Announces Parade Grand Marshals

Tulip Time® Festival is pleased to announce the Parade Grand Marshals for the Festival’s 90th Anniversary!

Metal Flow Volksparade – Wednesday, May 8

Grand Marshal:  Ginger Zee

Tulip Time welcomes Ginger Zee back home to West Michigan as Grand Marshal for Wednesday’s Metal Flow Volksparade. Ginger will also share highlights of the Tulip Time Festival with “Good Morning America” viewers on Wednesday morning.

Ginger Zee is the chief meteorologist at ABC News, reporting on the nation’s weather on “Good Morning America” and across ABC News broadcasts and digital platforms. Previously she was the meteorologist for “Good Morning America Weekend.”  Prior to joining ABC News, Ginger was a meteorologist at NBC station WMAQ-Channel 5 in Chicago from 2006-2011. Before that assignment, she worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as part of Storm Team 8. From 2003-2005, Ginger worked at WEYI NBC 25 in Flint, Michigan. She began her career at WLAV FM/ WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The Emmy Award-winning meteorologist attended Valparaiso University and holds a Bachelor of Science in meteorology. She also served as an adjunct professor at the University from 2008-2011. Zee also holds the CBM Seal for Meteorology. She resides in New York City. 

Yanfeng/Johnson Controls Kinderparade – Thursday, May 9

Grand Marshals:  Descendants of Linda Rogers, Hannah Rogers and Joe Rogers, along with representatives of the Woman’s Literary Club

The idea of Tulip Time was introduced in 1927 at a Woman’s Literary Club meeting. Miss Lida Rogers, a biology teacher at Holland High School, shared her vision and concluded by reading a poem, “Come Down to Holland in Tulip Time.” In 1928, City Council, acted on this suggestion and purchased 100,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands. These bulbs were planted throughout the city. Thus, it was in 1929 that thousands of tulips bloomed, and Holland invited visitors to come during a week in May. 

Fast forward several years — Hannah Rogers (now Olechnowicz) after joining the Tulip Time staff, shared that she was the great, great, great niece of Lida Rogers! Hannah, along with her father, Joe Rogers, a great, great nephew of Lida Rogers, celebrate this fond tie to Tulip Time’s history as Grand Marshals of the Kinderparade.  

Co-marshals of the Kinderparade are representatives, from The Woman’s Literary Club, which was organized in 1898 by Anna Coatsworth Post. She called together the first ‘Reading Circle’ which has grown from a small handful of earnest women to the prosperous ‘Woman’s Literary Club’ of today. The Woman’s Literary Club is an association of woman who strive to expand their horizons through literature, art, music, theater and current topics. The Club encourages continuing education through scholarship programs, actively supports the Holland Community Hospital through on-going projects, shares with the community gifts of money and support. In 2019, the Woman’s Literary Club is celebrating its 120th Anniversary.

Quality Car Wash Muziekparade – Saturday, May 11

Grand Marshal:  John Karsten, Holland Town Crier

It is only fitting that John Karsten, Holland’s Town Crier for the last 40 years, is grand marshal for the largest, most spectacular parade of the 90th Tulip Time – even more so because John has announced he will be retiring from his role as Town Crier when the 2019 festival ends.  John’s reign as town crier began in 1979. Since then, he has delighted festival visitors with his colorful charm and enthusiasm. John has become as much a part of the festival as the tradition itself.

John was born in the Netherlands in the province of Overijssel. He immigrated to the U.S. and by 1967 found his way to Holland, Michigan where he was invited to participate in a Dutch Heritage Show. In 1979, he was asked to be Holland’s Town Crier, a role he enthusiastically accepted.

Town Criers have a long history.  Hundreds of years ago, the Town Crier was essential to spreading the news. In those times, few could read and write, making the town crier the primary provider of the news. When reading and writing became more prevalent, the need for town criers faded.  However, reenactors exhibiting their bravado, keep the tradition alive.

John is a former president of the American Guild of Town Criers. His wife Wieda is his escort as he competes in Town Crier competitions worldwide.  This year, in honor of the 90th anniversary and his retirement, he will host the Tulip Time International Town Crier Competition. Town Criers from the U.S., Canada, England and The Netherlands, will compete for awards and prizes.  The competition will take place on Friday, May 10 at 2p at the Holland Civic Center.

Everyone Loves A Parade! — And now, Tulip Time offers several options for viewing them.

Parade Patio Seating — Come and enjoy the Tulip Time parades just steps away from the action in the newly renovated Civic Center Marketside! Your ticket will include general admission to an indoor/outdoor street-level experience complete with chairs and a cash bar. Buffet lunch and concessions also available for additional purchase onsite. Doors open at 10am, with concessions/buffet/bar available at 11am. Watch bands, floats and performers march by from this beautiful new location! Tickets do not include parking, so please plan accordingly. Road closures begin around noon. Tickets are required for entry to this space. ADA accessible. $30/p

Grandstand SeatingEnjoy the parade in our newly upgraded grandstand seating! General seating offers easy access and convenient viewing. For more enhanced comfort, select premium seating that includes a flip down seat. Grandstand seating is conveniently located near both the Civic Center and Kollen Park, with tickets available through the Tulip Time office. Seating is limited. $16/p for premium seats (with backs); $12/p for general seating

Curbside Seating — If you choose to bring your own blanket or chair, please take note of the City of Holland’s policies: Items cannot be set up earlier than 6am the morning of any of the parades. Items may be placed between the street and sidewalk only. All items must be removed no later than 1 hour after each parade.

The 2019 Tulip Time Festival Guide is now available. To purchase tickets, request a brochure, or to obtain detailed program and event information, visit