Albany preparing for Tulip Festival
The tulips may have blossomed earlier than expected, but city workers say you still have a chance to check out the blooms at the annual Tulip Festival this weekend in Albany. Our Erin Connolly has more from Washington Park./I>
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Lots of city workers were out and about Wednesday, all making those last minute preps to have things looking picture perfect. And while the tulips bloomed a bit early, people say it’s not too late to see them.
Sania Richardson, an Albany resident, said, "They're really pretty and they blossomed. Some flowers, when you plant them and then the water comes and they bloom."
Sounds so simple but getting the tulips ready for the 64th annual Tulip Fest in Albany has been anything but easy.
Jessica Morgan, the city’s gardener, said, "It's been quite a nerve wracking year. We'll put it that way."
Spring sprung early, meaning the tulips blossomed early, leaving the main attraction in question.
Kenneth Abele, a Florida resident, said, "It must be a nightmare to do something like this. Spring just comes when it wants to."
Morgan said, "I just take everything in stride. This year, we had a beautiful warm spring and it was lovely and everybody enjoyed it so much. We couldn't have hoped for better weather but we could have hoped for longer tulips but not better weather."
Imported from Amsterdam, the city planted about 125,000 bulbs this year, but many of those flowers have not made it.
Morgan said, "How many tulips have passed at this point? Probably close to 70 percent at this point throughout the entire city. Here in the park, we are lucky. Only 60 to 65 percent, so we are hoping this cooler weather keeps them a little longer."
But to combat the issue, Morgan says the city is planting pansies to make everything look more full and add color. They thought about buying fully grown tulips to add, but it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Morgan said, "It would be a quick plant and they would die really quickly because they're already grown. It was such a waste of money, I couldn't see doing it."
But despite the hiccups, people are still enjoying the sights ahead of the big weekend, tip toeing through the tulips or taking a picture.
Ruth Abele, a Florida resident, said, "I am really amazed by the different colors. So beautiful."
Kenneth Abele said, "This is something the city can be proud of."
Tulips aside, lots to do at the tulip fest this weekend. There is going to be food and music and of course, the crowning of the new tulip queen and the mother of the year award. So really, something for everyone.