73rd Annual Tulip Time Festival

Thursday, May 1 through Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sherrie Clark hosted an AWON gathering in Pella, Iowa during the 73rd Annual Tulip Time Festival.  The AWONers met at Sherrie's home daily from May 1 to May 4 where she treated them to wonderful Dutch food and transit service into town.   Sherrie was the hostest with the mostest sharing delicious Dutch treats.    What started as a gathering of Midwest AWON members extended to the deep southwest.   AWON members who attended were Carla Sue Kingery Holcomb and husband, Tom, who drove their motor home from Oklahoma to the event; Patricia Ball Morrison and hubby, Jerry, drove their motor home from Minnesota; Terry Boettcher and wife Connie drove from Des Moines, Iowa and, unfortunately, Bob Holliday and his wife were unable to attend due to a grandchild event.  (Both Rv'ers stayed at the beautiful Howell Station RV Campground. ) 

AWON was featured in the annual Tulip Time magazine with exposure to the estimated 20,000 who attend annually.  The AWON gathering was announced at the parade each day.  Plans for the next gathering  perhaps will include an AWON float.   

The  annual tulip parade is staged twice daily and involves the entire community including schools and hundreds of volunteers.  Pella has the only working windmill in the USA which was made in Holland, disassembled and shipped to Pella.  Each year an inspector comes from Holland to assure it is in working order.  The overwhelming majority of the population of Pella is 3rd and 4th generation Dutch. At the opening ceremony on the town square, the Star Spangled Banner followed by the Dutch National Anthem were both sung.  The American and the Dutch flags are flown together all over the public areas. 

All of the AWONers had a great time and, as usual, felt right at home with each other.  Sherrie and Pat talked through one whole afternoon about their lives and how they felt as if they had known each other for a lifetime rather than a few short days.  When Sherrie's friends and family asked about the visit, she said "I couldn't believe how I felt like I have known these people forever!"  

After the gathering, the Holcombs drove to Minneapolis and then came to spend a couple days with the Morrisons in Minnesota.

Sherrie Clark on her front porch.

Front Row: Sherrie Clark and Pat Morrison;
Back Row: Terry Boettcher and Carla Sue Holcomb.

The Pella Windmill.

Tulips . . .

. . . And more tulips . . .


Photos and Text submitted by Pat Morrison and Terry Boettcher;
Photos thanks to Terry, Pat and AWONer spouses