By Ken Stern 

Tulip tourist day in our local town


April 19, 2023

Ken Stern

Friday was tulip-flowers-in-bloom day, a wonderfully sunny day, if still cool and with a bit of a breeze. It was as much officially the start of the tulip tourist season as the first pitch and Opening Day was for the Mariners two weeks earlier.

It was the day La Conner's merchants have been waiting for since, well, Christmas.

Morris and First street curbs were lined with cars and shoppers populated sidewalks in clumps in and around the business district. Up Third Street some went in returning to their cars.

Young, old, pushing strollers or walkers, some leaning on canes. Not many bikes that afternoon, but a few were making their way in on Chilberg Road.

And there was art in and about for people to get to or go to. Rexville Grange, the Pickle Barn at Schuh Farms, art at the schoolhouse at Christianson's Nursery – and their Vinery market, too.

In town there was an Art Bash through the weekend ensconced in Maple Hall and Ginny Darville carrying out her good deed managing Vida Nueva rugs, Oaxacan weavings, and a weaver, at the Seaside Gallery at Gilkey Square.

The shops and restaurants? Not even anecdotal evidence, but they had to have a jingle jangle bang up day given all the cars and associated people in town.

And for the locals, the day could end with the spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the McLeod family at the elementary school.

Not a typical day in La Conner this spring, but the hope is that every Tulip Festival day smiles like this.

But no, like Brigadoon disappearing into the mists after 24 hours, Saturday was overcast and wet and Sunday was darker and wetter. Both were unseasonably cool. It remains to be seen if the town's April tax coffers will be uncharacteristically low.


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