After four years of hosting one of the Fraser Valley’s largest and most colourful outdoor events, the organizers of Bloom, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival are saying thank you and farewell to the community where it all started with plans to eventually rebloom in Northern Okanagan.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling to say goodbye to the incredible community that supported our vision for the last few years but we’re hopeful for the future of the event in our new community in Northern Okanagan,” said Alexis Szarek, Founder of Bloom, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival.
“We want to thank all of our dedicated staff and volunteers who greatly contributed to our success in Abbotsford, as well as the many community stakeholders who helped us along the way.”
Bloom, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival held the first event in the spring of 2016 with the goal of bringing four generations of Szarek’s family’s passion for growing tulips to a broader audience. The outdoor event attracted up to 100-thousand visitors each year over six weeks from April to May who gathered to marvel at the 2.5 million rainbow coloured tulips in full bloom.
The event employed over dozens of staff and volunteers every year, and had a significant impact on the local economy while boosting tourism and helping to solidify Abbotsford’s global reputation as an agritourism destination. The festival was featured on dozens of international publications and programs including CBC’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki.
Bloom is also proud to have contributed over $120,000 through volunteer hours to the Abbotsford Kiwanis Club, the Canadian Ski Patrol, Clearbrook Kiwanis Club and W. J. Mouat Dry Grad. Several recent factors impacted the decision to permanently close the Abbotsford Tulip Festival, including the forced cancellation of the 2020 event last April due to the pandemic, as well as the uncertainty of the 2021 season. In addition, earlier this year the land where the festival had been held for four consecutive years was sold to new owners.
Szarek and her growing family have since relocated to Armstrong, B.C. where she and her husband, Marc hope to re-imagine Bloom for the Northern Okanagan community.
Photo courtesy of Istock.