By STEVE RALPH
Zeeland High School Dutch dancers will give a sneak peek of Tulip Time before the festival even begins.
The event — 5:50 to 7:30 p.m. April 29 — will mark the third consecutive year that downtown Zeeland volunteers host the local dancers on their own turf.
“It’s so wonderful that we can bring our local Dutch dancers to downtown Zeeland for a performance before they’re officially needed at the Tulip Time festival,” said event organizer Lisa Dunlap. “It’s a great way to bring the community together to celebrate our culture, celebrate spring and celebrate our kids.”
The event will be on Main Avenue between Elm and Church streets. The dancers will give two performances along with live music by the Tarnished Brass Band, Dutch refreshments and spring specials by downtown businesses.
“I’m so glad the Zeeland Dutch dancers will be back. It’s like a Tulip Time sneak peak for Zeelanders and a great dress rehearsal for the dancers,” said organizer Dorothy Voss.
The event falls on the eve of Queen’s Day, known in the Netherlands as Koninginnenacht. Downtown Zeeland will recognize this occasion by representing the House of Orange through orange balloons for children and orange bows on the street lamps. Spectators are also invited to carry out the theme by dressing in orange attire and riding bicycles downtown.
“We don’t celebrate our old Dutch roots very often, but this evening should reflect the great sense of fun to be found among the Dutch. There is a word for it — gezellig,” Voss said.
Tulip Time is May 3 through May 10.