Tulip Time quiz

Mitch Frauenheim

A tourist shoves through the crowded street, eager to get a glimpse of the parade. He takes a swig of his extra-large lemonade and crunches into a delicious elephant ear. This is the iconic Tulip Time visitor. He has the classic “carny” food in hand and is engrossed in a bunch of local kids strolling down the middle of the street. While he is the epitome of a Tulip Time attendee, chances are he doesn’t know much about the event. When presented with a six question quiz, most people were taking shots in the dark.


  Along with the elephant ear and deep fried Oreo, lemonade is one of the most quintessential Tulip Time delicacies. Holland natives know it as the sweetest around. However, the lemonade is much sweeter than most people thought.

Q) How much sugar is in a 32oz cup of lemonade?

Tammy-Tourist: “Jeez I don’t even know. I really don’t know, 50 grams?”

Sue-Holland: “I’m going to go with 73 grams.”

Blake-Saugatuck: “I think there’s 2 cups of sugar in there”

Eric-West Olive: “Oooh, it has to be a lot. I would guess a quarter of a cup”

Kathy-West Olive: “I’m going to say the same, quarter of a cup.”

Jason-Jenison: “75 grams”

Lan-Jenison: “75 grams”

Dan-Holland: “Enough to give you diabetes. 50 grams?”

Jake-Kentwood: “40 grams of sugar.”

Sydney-Kentwood: “I’ll say 30 grams of sugar”

Correct Answer: Half a cup of sugar, or 115 grams.


  In the Kinderparade, students from many of the area elementary schools march along with local high school bands. Though Sue, Jason, and Dan were close, the rest of the interviewees guessed distances that were much longer than the actual parade route.

Q) How long is the kinderparade route?

Sue: “I would say a mile and a half.”

Blake: “3 miles.”

Eric: “3.5 miles”

Kathy: “I’m gonna say 2.5 miles”

Jason: “About a mile, mile and a half”

Lan: “2 miles

Dan: “Let’s say a mile and a half.”

Jake: “7 miles.”

Sydney: “5 miles”

Correct Answer: 1.2 miles


  In 2004, a group of 19 West Ottawa students illegally snuck into a parade disguised as the “American Pirate Association.” They were kicked out and each fined $100. However, they arranged a pirate themed car wash, and raised enough money to pay the fines. Though some guessed the correct answer, no one knew of the pirates’ story.

Q) Out of ninjas, pirates, medieval knights, and aliens, which group has been involved in a Tulip Time parade?

Tammy: “I don’t even know if I’ve seen a parade. Pirates.”

Sue: “Ninjas.”

Blake: “Pirates, I don’t know”

Eric: “Aliens”

Kathy: “Ninjas.”
Jason: “Ninjas”

Lan: “Ninjas?”

Dan: “I feel like all of them should have been at some point, but we’re gonna go with the medieval knights. It just seems like it fits best. Though ninjas would have been really cool.”

Jake: “Pirates.”

Sydney: “Knights”

Correct Answer: Pirates


  Although tulips are a beautiful flower, there are countless other species of flowers on the planet. Of all the flowers in the world, why the tulip? Most of the interviewees guessed correctly; tulips were a tradition in the Netherlands long before they were brought to the United States. Perhaps the wisest answer of all, however, came from Eddie who unexpectedly shouted out an answer.

Q) What is the significance of a tulip? (Why not another flower?)

Tammy: “Because it’s the Holland tradition.”

Sue: “That I don’t know”

Blake: “ I don’t know, because there are multiple colors.”

Eric: “I would prefer lilac time, to tell you the truth. I would guess probably because the bulbs originated in the Netherlands or something”

Kathy: “It’s Dutch”

Jason: “It looks cool.”

Lan: (Referring to Jason’s answer) “Same”

Dan: “I have no idea, the only thing I can guess is that it has to with the whole Dutch background.”

Jake: “They come from the Dutch place.”

Eddie: “Cuz tulips come up in the spring”

Correct Answer: Tulips were very popular in The Netherlands. As Holland was settled by the Dutch, the tulip tradition continued.


  Tulip Time has attracted many famous performers over the years. Some people couldn’t believe that Holland had brought in so many big names. Much to the surprise of most of the interviewees, Bill Cosby did perform at Tulip Time in 2014.

Q) Out of Christina Aguilera, Bill Cosby, Fun., and Starship, which has not been a feature performer at Tulip Time?

Tammy: “Christina Aguilera.”

Sue: “I would say Christina Aguilera.”

Blake: “Bill Cosby”

Eric: “I would say the band Fun.”

Kathy: “Christina Aguilera.”

Jason: “All of them… Fun.”

Lan: “None of them have been here… Bill Cosby.”

Dan: “I wanna say Bill Cosby.”

Jake: “Bill Cosby.”

Sydney: “Bill Cosby.”

Correct Answer: Fun.


  The city doesn’t go around searching for dirty tulip-snatching criminals, but picking a tulip is still against the law. The punishment is much more severe than the small fine that most of the people thought.

Q) What is the punishment for picking a tulip?

Tammy: “Probably a fine.”

Sue: “It’s a fine. I would say $100.”

Blake: “It’s a $500 fine or something, I know you can go to jail too.”

Eric: “Ooh it’s like a $50 fine or something.”

Kathy: “Hundred dollar fine.”

Jason: “Death.”

Lan: “Death.”

Dan: “It’s a $500 fine and a month in jail or something like that.”

Jake: “$100 fine.”

Sydney: “A hundred dollar fine.”

Correct Answer: Picking a tulip is a destruction of local property and can result in a 90-day misdemeanor criminal violation. The guilty party can receive up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
  People near and far love attending Tulip Time. However, it turns out that most of them don’t know how much they’re poisoning themselves by drinking the lemonade or how far those poor elementary school children have to walk in their Dutch costumes. Perhaps for the average Tulip Time visitor, ignorance is bliss.