Search
Close this search box.
Get unlimited local news and information that matters to you.

A local’s guide to the 2024 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

What to know about the gardens, transportation, events and more

A field of RoozenGaarde tulips bloom during the April 2022 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Festival organizers are hoping for a close-to-normal year in 2023
A field of RoozenGaarde tulips bloom during the April 2022 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)
By Cocoa Laney Lifestyle Editor

For most of the world, the phrase “tulip mania” refers to a 17th-century Dutch economic bubble. Folks in Skagit County, however, will tell you tulip mania is alive and well — especially during the month of April. 

The annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is hands-down the county’s biggest annual event, and in advance of its kickoff weekend, we’re bringing you an in-depth preview of what to expect.

Festival at a glance

2024 marks the Tulip Festival’s 41st year in existence, and the statistics around it are impressive: For starters, Skagit County produces more tulips (and daffodils!) than any other county in the U.S. The annual tulip crop also accounts for 75% of the country’s commercial production. 

Visitors flock from all 50 states and 85-plus countries to see these blooms up close. Yes, we’re aware this can result in crowded roadways and the occasional frustrating traffic jam — but the festival’s executive director, Nicole Roozen, urges folks to focus on the economic impact. After all, the festival is estimated to generate $65 million in revenue for the local economy in April alone.

While the festival technically spans from April 1–30, Roozen stresses they aim to stay in “lockstep with the tulip gardens and when the bloom actually occurs” — which, of course, is dependent on Mother Nature. This year’s blooms are slightly early, meaning visitors to Skagit Valley will already be able to observe some color. Three of the gardens will open the weekend of March 30 (just in time for Easter!); RoozenGaarde is open year-round. For the most current bloom status, check online at tulipfestival.org/bloom-status

A crowd gathers at the edge of the tulip field.
A crowd gathers at the edge of a tulip field in April 2023 at RoozenGaarde. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)

Getting there

Tulip fields can be found in a 15-mile triangle between the Skagit River, the Swinomish River Channel and Highway 20. Given its expansiveness, the Tulip Festival is best experienced by car or bike.

If you choose the bike route, we recommend going on a weekday to avoid crowded roads. La Conner and Mount Vernon make great starting points for self-guided tours: Bikers can leave their cars at the large parking lot at 204 Douglas St. below Town Hall in La Conner, or Edgewater Park in Mount Vernon.

Visit Skagit Valley has bike maps available online at visitskagitvalley.com/guidedmaps. For a more curated experience, Tulip Country Bike Tours provides rentals, self-guided and guided tours, whereas PNW Exploration offers guided e-bike tours.

Other advice: Traffic can be an issue heading into the valley, especially on weekends. However, you can stay updated on traffic advisories, issues and other important planning info via the Tulip Festival’s website, social media and email list. Weekdays, early mornings and evenings are best for avoiding crowds at the gardens. Finally, make sure to pack layers and shoes you don’t mind getting muddy.


Looking for somewhere to grab a bite after an afternoon at the gardens? CDN contributor Jessamyn Tuttle put together a handy guide to Skagit County’s best restaurants, all of which are well worth a visit. The Tulip Festival’s website also has interactive maps to help visitors track down restaurants depending on their current location.

Meet the growers

While blooms are visible throughout Skagit Valley, only four gardens are open for up-close viewing: Garden Rosalyn, Tulip Valley Farms, RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town. Each garden requires a separate ticket, and it’s recommended to purchase them online in advance.

Roozen also notes that gardens are redesigned every year — so even if you’ve attended the festival before, there’s always something new to discover. More ticketing information can be found at tulipfestival.org/gardens.

Garden Rosalyn (16648 Jungquist Road, Mount Vernon) is the smallest of the four, offering 7 acres of tulips, according to the festival website. Online tickets are $15, season passes are $40 and opening hours are 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday–Sunday, according to their Eventbrite ticket page. Garden Rosalyn is also an excellent place to view dahlias between late spring and early fall. 

Tulip Valley Farms (15245 Bradshaw Road, Mount Vernon) is the festival’s only U-Pick tulip farm, and according to their website, they have more than 3 million bulbs across 13 acres of tulip fields. Online tickets are $13.50 for adults, $8.50 for kids ages 3–15 and $10.50 for senior/military IDs. Tickets purchased at the gate are $3 more. Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Sunday, plus 7–9 p.m. for their illuminated light show, Night Bloom, on Friday and Saturday. 

Mia Ching
Mia Ching, left, shakes water from her hand while picking tulips with her husband, Jensen, in April 2023 at Tulip Valley Farms in Mount Vernon. U-pick is one of the many activities visitors can pay extra for to heighten the tulip garden experience. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

RoozenGaarde (15867 Beaver Marsh Road, Mount Vernon) has 50 acres of fields plus a 5-acre display garden. They grow approximately 200 tulip and daffodil varieties. Online tickets are $15 on weekdays ($17 for walk-ups), $17 on weekends ($18 for walk-ups) and season passes are available for $50. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday–Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday–Sunday.

Finally, Tulip Town (15002 Bradshaw Road, Mount Vernon) has more than 50 tulip varieties across 18 acres of fields according to the festival website. Online ticket purchases are $15 for visitors ages 12-plus online ($20 at the gate), $13 for seniors ($18 at the gate), and $7 for kids ages 6–11 ($10 at the gate). Season passes, date night packages and “anytime tickets” are also available online. Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday–Thursday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday–Sunday. The ticket price also includes a trolley ride and access to a beer and wine garden.

All ticket prices include parking, and dogs are welcome at all gardens except RoozenGaarde (though Tulip Valley Farms requires a $5 Pet Pass purchase).

Dusk at one of Tulip Town’s fields. (Photo courtesy of Tulip Town)

New in 2024

This year is Roozen’s first year as executive director, taking over for Cindy Verge after her 20-year career with the festival. Roozen comes from a marketing background and has worked for brands including Nordstrom and Zulily. So far she’s spearheaded modernizations including a mobile-friendly website, a brand new email list and even interactive maps pointing festival goers to nearby local businesses.

Roozen’s name might also sound familiar to those in the know: She’s married to Brent Roozen, who helps to operate RoozenGaarde with his family, and has aided her in-laws during past festival seasons.

Roozen sees tulips as a visually striking representation of Skagit’s agricultural bounty — and not just in relation to flowers. Skagit Valley farmers produce roughly $350 million dollars’ worth of crops, dairy products and livestock each year. Thus, Roozen said she and her staff view the festival as an opportunity to be cultural ambassadors, “bringing people from all different parts of the world together to appreciate the beauty that is Skagit Valley.”

People explore the tulip fields at RoozenGaarde in April 2023. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival brings hundreds of thousands of people to the region each year. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

Other festivities

In addition to the festival itself, a variety of tulip-related events happen throughout April in Skagit County. Highlights include the Tulip Parade, presented by Astound Broadband. The parade departs from the Port of Skagit complex at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6; while folks can register in advance online, “wacky day-of entries” are also strongly encouraged.

The Tulip Festival Street Fair takes place April 19–21 in Downtown Mount Vernon, featuring more than 140 artisans, activities, musicians and food trucks. This year’s edition promises to be extra special with the introduction of Tulip Tunes, a new music festival taking place throughout the weekend in Pine Square. The lineup includes 18 acts from diverse genres — some are local, whereas others are nationally recognized.

If you visit the festival on a weekend, you won’t want to miss the Kiwanis Salmon Barbecue, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday–Sunday through April 28. The event is entering its 69th year; during this time, the Kiwanis Salmon Barbecue has served 292,000 meals and raised more than $2 million. Net proceeds support charitable work and youth services for the Mount Vernon community.

While not an official Tulip Festival event, the Bloom Ball is a new fundraiser for United Way of Skagit County. As the theme “Unity in Community” might suggest, it’s intended as a community gathering, not just a traditional gala. Expect live music, food and, of course, an impressive amount of tulips. The 21-plus event will be hosted at Tulip Valley Farms on April 18; ticket prices are $50, with proceeds benefiting United Way.

Other events include the 30th Annual Spring Garage Sale at Skagit County Fairgrounds April 12–13, PACCAR Technical Center’s only annual open house on April 13 and the second annual Tulip Tussle Pickleball Tournament from April 25–28. Check the festival’s website for a full listing of events.

Freshly picked tulips at Tulip Town await visitors from near and far through April 30. A Locals Night taking place Wednesday
Freshly picked tulips at Tulip Town await visitors. (Photo courtesy of Carrie LaMarr)

Cocoa Laney is CDN’s lifestyle editor; reach her at cocoalaney@cascadiadaily.com; 360-922-3090 ext. 128.

Latest stories

Historical fiction novel tells the story of two girls in WWII-era Latvia
April 14, 2024 10:00 p.m.
2024 festival includes seven features, 20 shorts and events with director Catherine Hardwicke
Updated April 15, 2024 3:00 p.m.
CDN’s weekly community profile
April 11, 2024 10:00 p.m.

Have a news tip?

Email newstips@cascadiadaily.com or Call/Text 360-922-3092

Sign up for our free email newsletters