BLOOM | The Abbotsford Tulip Festival Extended
Locals and visitors to Vancouver, have you had a chance to check out BLOOM, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival yet? After a slight weather delay, millions of rainbow-coloured tulips are now in full bloom and we're excited to hear organizers are extending the festival by another week through to May 14th for Mother's Day. In its second year, the festival is once again attracting large crowds and hitting capacity on high traffic weekends. As a result, the festival is taking steps to manage its' popularity by requiring visitors to pre-purchase tickets online for high traffic weekends in order to guarantee entry. Weekend tickets are $15 online or $25 at the door, in limited supply.

 “It was a bit of a slow start but now that our tulips are in full bloom, we’re extremely busy and we want to be able to accommodate as many people as we can,” said Alexis Warmerdam, founder and organizer of BLOOM, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival. “We do have a maximum capacity though, and that’s why we’re making it mandatory for people to purchase tickets in advance before they come because we don’t want to have to turn away people at the gate because we’re sold out.”
Advance tickets are available for purchase online at Admission price is $15 per person for weekends. Should guests arrive to the festival without pre-purchasing their tickets and the festival is not sold out, admission will be $25 per person. Weekday prices are $8 for general admission (13-64yrs) and $5 for children (3-12yrs), seniors (65+) and groups (20+ people) and parking is included with every ticket. New this year is a Locals’ Night, which falls on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 pm – 7:30 pm for the duration of the festival. This special offer is available for Abbotsford residents and their guests at a reduced admission price of only $2 per person with proof of address of at least one guest within the party.  The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is open daily until May 14th from 9:00 am – 7:30 pm and is located at 36737 North Parallel Road, just north of Highway 1. Visitors travelling westbound from Vancouver are encouraged to exit the highway at Number 3 Road (exit #104) to mitigate traffic congestion. 
In its inaugural year in 2016, the festival attracted close to 100,000 visitors over a six-week period. BLOOM has gained international attention and has since been designated as a Canada 150 Garden Experience, making this outdoor festival a must-see attraction. With over three million tulips, visitors get a chance to marvel and walk through acres of fields and take in a vivid display of beauty. This year, BLOOM is debuting a new line of rare and unique tulip varieties, including the limited edition “Canada 150” tulip, as well as the “Sun Lover”, “Miranda”, “Ice Cream” and a unique black variety called “The Queen of the Night”.
In addition to admiring the stunning tulip fields, visitors can also pick their own spring bouquets in the sprawling u-pick tulip field or purchase pre-picked tulips from the on-site flower shop. The agri-tourism attraction also offers a covered picnic area, food trucks, and family-friendly games and activities. Visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture the stunning fields of flowers while they last and take advantage of the many photo cut-out boards located throughout the grounds. Food trucks are available on weekends and visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics and use the covered picnic areas while enjoying the great view of both Mount Baker and the tulip fields. BLOOM is also a pet-friendly festival.
BLOOM, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival was founded by Alexis Warmerdam, a passionate third-generation Canadian tulip farmer and fourth generation bulb grower with Lakeland Flowers. The festival’s breathtaking techno-coloured display of over three million tulips in a beautiful country setting has attracted visitors from all over the world and is quickly becoming an annual must-see attraction. Alexis’ vision is to inspire appreciation for the splendor of the tulip season and give visitors a chance to get up close with over 40 varieties of tulips and enjoy some springtime fun in the country with their friends and family.

Jan Halvarson

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