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Chilliwack Tulips in bloom and open to the public with new COVID safety measures in place

Last Updated Apr 14, 2021 at 11:12 pm PDT

Bulbs are in bloom, and capacity is limited at this year's Chilliwack Tulips event.

Chilliwack Tulips event is in bloom after being shuttered by COVID last year

Tulip event reimagined from "festival" to an "experience" amid ongoing pandemic

Attraction limiting capacity to comply with provincial safety guidelines

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) — It’s a sunny opening week at the Chilliwack Tulips, which was cancelled last year, but you won’t see as many people as usual if you head out to wander through the rows of flowers this year.

Kate Onos-Gilbert, owner and operator of Chilliwack Tulips says capacity at the festival has been limited to 25 per cent, and the event has been restructured to comply with COVID-19 safety measures.

“Well we have had to reimagine our name a little bit,” she explains, “‘Festival’ means to celebrate something, and we are celebrating the flowers, but because of the Provincial Health Guidelines we are just referring to ourselves as Chilliwack Tulips — an experience; an attraction, rather than a festival.”

This includes removing picnic tables, lawn game, and places for people to gather, because of the pandemic.

“We’ve put in a lot of safety protocols, to make sure everyone feels safe and can do something really enjoyable outside,” says Onos-Gilbert, adding, “It’s a nice walk through the fields.”

Tickets are being sold in hourly blocks for this year’s event. This means that due to the 25 per cent limit, only around 150 people per hour will be allowed to enjoy a walk throughout the four kilometres of pathways.

Onos-Gilbert says people are expected and encouraged to stay socially distanced and follow the provincial health guidelines.

“Yes, you can take off your mask briefly while you’re getting your picture in front of the fields and in front of one of our photo ops, but we just ask that you put them back while you’re walking around.” She says, adding that hand sanitizer stations are set up near the photoshoot-designated locations throughout the fields.

She adds only people in the area should visit Chilliwack Tulips — to respect the province’s directive on travel.

Alongside the orange and peach-coloured early tulips in full bloom, there are also early daffodils, and fields of hyacinths near the end of their bloom, which Onos-Gilbert calls “spectacular right now.”

The event in Chilliwack is expected to be open until sometime in May, with all of this sunshine helping push the tulips out ahead of schedule.

Onos-Gilbert says how long the event goes on is weather-dependent. “In terms of the tulips growing, the hot weather is great … but if it continues to be really hot, it will shorten the festival because the blooms will be finished sooner,” she explains.

Meantime, the Abbotsford Tulip Festival has left town because of the pandemic — moving to the Okanagan.

Chilliwack Tulips
Location: 41310 Yale Road, Chilliwack
Tickets and Hours: https://chilliwacktulips.com/