The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival was officially inaugurated in 1984 by the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Chamber directors Jerry Diggerness and Joan Houchen saw that people were coming by the thousands to view the tulips and, through a retreat, decided to add events and festivities to enhance the visitors’ trip to the Skagit Valley. In 1994 the Tulip Festival broke off from the Chamber of Commerce and became an entity of its own, eventually opening a separate office and store.
From humble beginnings, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival grew. It moved from 2 days to 10, then 17 and then to 30 days. The expansion to 30 days was to ensure that the huge fields of tulips grown in Skagit Valley by Washington Bulb Co./RoozenGaarde would actually bloom sometime during the festival, since a shorter festival sometime missed the blooming of the fields.
Today the festival boasts an amazing assortment of events — although in 2021 by necessity we have fewer offerings. You will find art shows, a gala celebration, and a 20-, 40- or 60-Tulip Pedal Bicycle Ride. One of our signature events is set for 2021 — the Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair which will operate along first street in downtown Mount Vernon. And, for the farm and animal fans coming to see tulips, there is an alpaca farm open where you can meet and greet these furry, friendly creatures.