Colourful tulips blooming during the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa.

Colourful tulips blooming during the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa.

Spring is in the air, and Ottawa's famous tulip festival is back in person this year with much more than flower beds. You'll be able to walk through rainbow gardens of over 300,000 blooms, dine from a bunch of different food trucks and top it off with a free fireworks show.

The Canadian Tulip Festival has added a lineup of fun events for this year's 70th-anniversary celebration, with tours and displays we haven't seen in the past. The events will take place in Commissioner's Park from May 13 to May 23.

It's time to crawl out of winter hibernation to enjoy the dreamy colours of the tulip fest, like you haven't seen before, at night. The Dow's Lake boardwalk is being transformed into a glowing wonder, lit up each evening. This kilometre-long stretch of gardens will have a backlight so you can see the flowers like the bees do, in UV light.

Spooky walking tours will take place multiple times each evening, telling the story of servicemen that lived near the festival and paid the ultimate price for our freedom. The "Ghosts in the Glebe" tour covers different breeds of tulips related to heartfelt stories of the past. Each tour lasts about 45 minutes, with the first one starting at 8 p.m. daily. It costs $20 per adult.

There will be movie nights every day of the festival, beginning at 8 p.m. featuring different classic short films. The full movie schedule is set to be announced in April. Multiple shop vendors and food trucks will be around the park throughout the day. Shop fresh tulips, paintings, candles, home decor and clothing from the pop-up boutique, and eat everything from tacos to Beavertails.

The sky will light up over the park on Sunday, May 22 with a finale of fireworks. The free firework show begins at 10 p.m., weather permitting. The parking lot at Dow's Lake will be closed off to the public, so arrange for alternate parking nearby or take the "Tulip Trolley" shuttle from downtown.

Canadian Tulip Festival 

Price: Free

When: Friday, May 13 to Monday, May 23, 2022

Address: Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Back in person this year, the tulip festival will have new events including food trucks, walking tours, pop-up shops, glowing flowers and movie nights.

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