These little kids are riding in the parade in giant wooden shoes!
Abe trying to be Dutch (he wants to be much) in front of the city windmill
Real Dutch friends
There are a lot of Dutch people in Iowa. I never thought much about the Dutch until I got here and started hearing difficult names like Van Heukelom, Van Arendonk, or Ostendorf, to name a few, and hearing all about Central College whose mascot is the Dutch and "If you aren't Dutch, you aint much." I even heard a friend say, "The garbage is under the sink, just like any good dutch family." I guess that is why ours is next to the cupboard (we aren't dutch).
To celebrate the dutch tradition, we went to Pella (one of the very proud Dutch towns in the area) where they have a large yearly celebration called Tulip Time. They have daily parades, food, and people dressed up like dutch people. They even "sweep the streets" while wearing their Klompen (wooden shoes) at the beginning of the parade (I guess the Dutch are also notoriously clean). Picking a tulip will also get you a large fine. They have a Tulip Queen (one of our friend's mom won the honor as a girl even) and a Bergermeister (sp?). They also have some yummy dutch bakeries where you can get dutch letters ("S" shaped pastries filled with almond paste).
To me it felt like Dutch pioneer day. Their Dutch traditions are frozen in time, just like the Pioneer Day celebrations we have in Utah or even here in Iowa City. They don't seem like any of the Dutch people I have actually met. It is nice to see people being so enthusiastic about their heritage. Made me almost want to be Dutch--but I think Sheffield and Jackson are much easier to say than Van der Sheffield or Den Jackson.