Here in the Valley, tulips are more than just a colorful spring bloom. In a nod to the region’s Dutch heritage, the showy perennial was named Albany’s official flower by Mayor Erastus Corning in 1948. That same year, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands designated the Orange Wonder as the city’s very own tulip variety. In celebration, the streets were scrubbed clean (a Dutch pre-party ritual), and the first Albany Tulip Festival was held on May 14.
Today, Albany’s flower fête is still going strong. The streets again will be scrubbed before the May 7-8 extravaganza in Washington Park, which includes live entertainment, craft vendors, an arts show, and kids’ activities. But the highlight, of course, is the display of hundreds of blooming tulips, which fill the park from end to end (518-434-2032 or www.albanyevents.org).