Clymer’s 61st Tulip Festival takes over town for the weekend

P-J photos by Sara Holthouse Members of the adult group of klompen dancers dance during the 2024 Tulip Festival parade.

CLYMER — Residents of the town of Clymer spent the weekend celebrating their Dutch heritage together with the town’s biannual Tulip Festival celebration.

The festival began Friday night with events such as the Tulip Queen crowning, lasted throughout Saturday, beginning with the Wooden Shoe 5K Walk/Run, continuing through the main events like the craft/vendor show and grand parade, and everything wrapped up with a showing of the 2023 movie “Wonka” Saturday night and a pickleball tournament Sunday afternoon.

The theme for the 2024 Tulip Festival was “Victory in Bloom”. Natalie White was crowned Tulip Queen for 2024.

“Being the Tulip Queen is an exciting experience and I’m really glad I was able to participate,” White said.

Town board and Tulip Festival Committee member Levi Swanson said being able to carry on the tradition of the Tulip Festival is great for the town.

Levi Swanson, Shelly Schenck, and State Senator George Borrello during the Tulip Festival celebrations on Saturday.

“It’s great to be able to carry on the Dutch tradition here in Clymer and see all of the people,” Swanson said. “It’s our 61rst Tulip Festival and the 46th Queen crowning.”

State Senator George Borrello was also in attendance. He said one of the biggest parts of the festival is the attraction for people all around the area.

“The Tulip Festival is one of the many long running festivals in Chautauqua County that celebrates our heritage and the world community that we are,” Borrello said. “It attracts people from Pennsylvania. It gets everybody here to enjoy what makes this area special in Clymer and Chautauqua County.”

Don Damsteegt and his wife Marcia came up from Iowa to see the festival while visiting family in the area. Damsteegt said the festival reminded him of other Tulip Festivals he had been to in Michigan.

“I really enjoyed the street scrubbing and klompen dancing,” Damsteegt said. “The crafts are wonderful. I went to college in Holland, Michigan and it reminds me of my time there.”

Members of Clymer Central School’s FFA ride their float during the parade.

Another festival attendee, Mindy White, praised the leadership of the festival this year. For her, it was nice to see the younger generation being involved.

“It’s nice to see people who have not been involved with the leadership and organization of the festival in the past getting involved,” White said. “We have a new person leading the klompen dancing this year, and she’s doing great. It’s a lovely day and the fireworks last night were beautiful.”

Town Board members Melissa Murphy and Levi Swanson along with Town Supervisor/Burgemeester Brian Willink and Legislator Travis Heiser walk in the parade.

The 2024 Tulip Queen, Natalie White (pictured center), and her court help scrub the streets before the parade.

Pictured is the float in the parade that represented the theme of this year’s Tulip Festival, “Victory in Bloom”.


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