What began in 1936 as a celebration of Dutch heritage in Sioux City, has led to over 70 years of tradition.
And no one knows that heritage, better than J.R. Siebersma.
"I’ve been in Orange City since 1939," said J.R. Siebersma, Tulip Festival Parade Marshall.
Siebersma is the Parade Marshall this year for the Tulip Festival, but he didn’t earn that title overnight.
"When I was 8 years old, that’s the first festival I attended," adds Siebersma. "But I attended everyone since that, except for the two years I spent working for Uncle Sam in Korea."
Throughout his 70+ years of experience, he says things have changed tremendously.
"The festival has grown so much since that time," said Siebersma. "It was just at it’s beginning back then."
Back then, when a few men saw the idea of a Tulip Festival elsewhere in the country and wanted to bring it to their Dutch town.
"They started that, just a couple of guys, it was a very small beginning," said Siebersma. "But they had such a great turn-out that they thought, ‘well this is something we ‘ought to continue".
A tradition that is still going strong, more than 70 years later.