Christ cross

cross-country teams push town over tulip planting finish line | Radio KNIA KRLS

A fall tradition in Pella that usually kicks off with high school athletes will instead be a race to the finish line for the City of Pella Parks Department this weekend.

Parks Superintendent Chandler Nunnikhoven said state-qualified cross-country ski teams Pella and Pella Christian will once again donate their time to plant thousands of tulip bulbs along Main Street in Pella. Saturday morning. For more than a decade, the two schools had lent their aid to the city parks department of Pella the weekend before the state meeting – but a major delay in the delivery of the annual shipment from the Netherlands instead had Parks Department staff and other volunteers catch up since late October.

On Thursday, more than 80% of the city’s 130,000 light bulbs were in the ground. Nunnikhoven says despite those challenges, they’ll be close to 100% once Main Street is finished on Saturday.

Plus, he says to look for more special varieties next spring when the community is in bloom.

“The town of Pella was fortunate to receive 100 bulbs from Holland of the tulip variety called ‘Nightmare’. These tulips are considered the darkest tulips available in the world, fading from dark purple to black. Only 215 of these tulips were sent to North America,” he says.

Town of Pella Community Services Director Jeanette Vaughan said Central College volunteers helped earlier this week with nearly 17,000 bulbs – and she is grateful for how quickly town staff and those who helped him were able to do the planting.