Second annual Richardson Farm Tulip Festival to open on Mother's Day
The Spring Tulip Festival is opening just in time for Mother's Day, starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 8, at Richardson Farm in Spring Grove. There should be 50,000-100,000 tulips blooming. And good weather next week will help the tulips bloom even more.
With hues ranging from fiery coral to snowy white, pale yellow and plum-drenched purple -- some with fringed petals, others smooth, all visually striking -- this year's array is sure to bedazzle, said George and Wendy Richardson. The couple operate the popular Richardson Farm, renowned for its corn maze, along with George's brother, Robert, Robert's wife, Carol, George's son, Ryan, and Ryan's wife, Kristen.
"We think we'll have a half a million tulips blooming," said George Richardson, cautioning that the true number will be Mother Nature's call. "We planted 300,000 bulbs in the fall of 2020 and 300,000 more in November 2021. It should really be a sight to see."
The premiere tulip festival at the farm -- located at 909 English Prairie Road, Spring Grove -- proved a popular draw in the spring of 2021. About 40,000 pandemic-weary visitors arrived to take in the fresh air along with the initial 5 acres of eye-popping plants.
This year's array, again designed by Shawn Stolworthy of MazePlay.com, features a series of gentle arches and narrow waves. Thirty varieties of tulip bulbs are planted -- everything from Apeldoorn's Elite and Border Buddies Blend to Banja Luka, Jaap Groot and Snowboard.
The tulips are planted in a northwesterly field of the 500-acre farm, adjacent to a picnic area around Richardson Lake. Five acres were planted in 2020; 5 more in the fall of 2021.
Tulip fest hours will be 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; closed Mondays.
The 3,800-square-foot Richardson Farm gift shop -- now featuring an increased variety of hand-crafted items plus homemade fudge, jams, salsas and doughnuts as well as wine tasting -- will be open until 7 p.m. Food trucks will be onsite daily during fest hours.
With its lakeside picnic area, yard games like giant checkers and giant Jenga, and live music on weekends, the fest is family-friendly, fresh-air fun, Robert Richardson said. Admission is $12 Tuesday through Friday and $15 each on weekends. Those ages 3 and younger are admitted free. The fee includes one cut-your-own tulip per person.
"The tulip festival is a great way to welcome the season with family and friends," Ryan Richardson said. "We really look forward to seeing everyone."
For updates on what's in bloom, check richardsonfarm.com.