"Stemfest 2012" t-shirts hot selling item for Holland's Tulip Time

May 4, 2012

Organizers of Holland’s Tulip Time festival are having a little fun with the fact the usual draw - million of blooming tulips - will be missing this year.

In Holland, you hear some worries about it almost every year. But this year it was especially bad.

“The weather’s been so warm. When tulips were blooming on St. Patrick’s Day we all looked at each other and said 'we’ll have nothing by the festival.”

Luckily there are some tulip blooms left; about 30-percent Auwerda estimates.

 “The locals have always called it a stemfest when there’s not a lot of tulips. And so we thought, let’s just do a little tongue in check and have a little fun with it.”

They made official “Stemfest 2012” t-shirts and buttons. Demand was so high for the original 300 stemfest t-shirts, they had to stop taking online orders shortly after they hit the shelves Thursday. 

Auwerda says they’ve reordered the shirts. They're expected to restock Tuesday, but she can't promise they'll have enough to sell online. (I read other businesses are selling unofficial versions.) 

“I mean we’re not changing the name of the festival. We probably won’t call it stemfest in the media at all. But it’s just a way to laugh and have a little bit of fun,” Auwerda said.

The festival begins this weekend.

It's named for the tulips, but is meant to celebrate Dutch heritage in Holland. There will still be plenty of street scrubbing and Dutch dancing in those awesome wooden shoes. (There’s also parades, rides, good eats, concerts, and crafts; lots of info here.)