Attention Getter and Motivation Statement: WOODEN SHOES??? Have you ever wondered why those CRAZY Dutch people wear wooden shoes? And why oh why would they dare make an attempt to dance in them? Good Morning. My name is Tanda Engelsma. Thirty years ago I was born in a Dutch found Michigan City by the name of Holland. At a very young age my family moved to a new city and I was unable to experience of any Dutch traditions, holidays or festivals. Credibility Statement:
I feel confident in discussing one of the many festivals celebrated by my relatives. I have researched many articles and read biographies on the founders of this unique festival of flowers. Purpose Statement/Position Statement/Preview of Main Points: My purpose here today is to inform you of a Dutch festival held throughout the United States and other countries but most specifically of the one closest to my heart…the Tulip Time Festival held annually every May in Holland, Michigan.
This festival has been noted by Readers Digest and entertains thousands of people on a yearly basis. I plan to walk you through a basic background of the festival, talk about the woman that suggested it an the most common and entertaining event performed during the festival. TRANSITION: To get started let’s get a brief background on the Dutch Festival known as “Tulip Time”. MAIN POINT 1:
Many cities that were founded by my ancestors from the Netherlands, better known as “Dutch Settlers” hold annual Tulip Festivals throughout the world. It just happens to be that in 2004 Readers Digest named, my birthplace, of Holland, Michigan to be “the best small town festival in America.” In 1927, over 83 years ago, the idea to have this festival of tulips came about.
Then in 1928 the Holland City Council appropriated funds for an to get 100,000 bulbs from the Netherlands and sell them to the locals for a low price of only one cent each. TRANSITION: Now that you know a bit about the background of the festival we can put a name with the beautiful idea. MAIN POINT 2:
As a woman known to be Dutch, I am very proud to say that the thought of the Tulip Time Festival was by the Holland Woman’s Literary Club in 1927. According to one of the more popular inns located in Holland, J. Paules Fenn Inn, it was “Miss Lida Rogers, a biology teacher at Holland High School that suggested that Holland adopt the tulip as its flower because of its close ties to the Netherlands and set aside a day for a festival.” After her suggestion the City Council jumped on board and by 1929 thousands of tulips had bloomed throughout the city streets and parks.
All of the interest shown by visitors to see the beatification project prompted the city to hold this event called Tulip Time as an annual event and has had performances by many famous names you might know today such as Christina Aguilera, The Oak Ridge Boys, O-Town and many more. TRANSITION: Lastly, I will talk about the famous shoes of the Dutch and what they call the Klompen Dance. MAIN POINT 3:
I remember my 10th birthday getting a remotely heavy box in the mail from my grandmother…I opened it and to my VERY VERY unexpected surprise there was a not so lovely pair of wooden shoes…I looked at my father with confusion and he said “That Dance” with a smirk on his face. He explained, and I verified with research, that a Klompen Dance is a performance by a special group of dancers called “Dutch Villagers” dressed in handmade costumes by local seamstresses to be exactly like the clothes worn by people in a real Dutch province.
According to the Official Travel Information Site For the Greater Holland, MI Area “there are over 1700 Klompen Dancers, including 675 alumni and community dancers”. The article also explained that this dance started in 1933 by a high school gym teacher by the name of Ethel Perry that taught only 12 students to perform Dutch folk dances to a song that some of us have sung to our children called “Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone.” TRANSITION: Hopefully now you have a basic knowledge of the Holland Michigan Tulip Time Festival. I would like to conclude by sharing a few final thoughts. CONCLUSION:
The Holland Michigan Tulip Time Festival is known to be a beautiful experience with deep history from the Netherlands. It was founded by women and continues to grow as the years go by. If I am ever afforded the opportunity to attend this festival I will be there…wooden shoes and all…making my attempt to Klompen Dance through the tulip lined streets of Holland. I hope to see you all there.