LGBT Travel to Gay Friendly Ottawa Canada – Tulip Festival
AHHHHH SPRINGTIME! For those of us who endure cold dreary winters, the first blossoms that start to pop up from the grounds renews our excitement in our cites!
OTTAWA CANADA draws a very large crowd for their Captial Pride / Gay Pride every August (20-29, 2010). But year round, this gay-friendly cultural city has amazing things to see and do!
Ottawa is blessed with a natural setting offering boundless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Paved recreational paths welcome cyclists, inline skaters and joggers across the region and on Sunday mornings from May through September, several streets are closed to cars for Sunday Bikedays. The region’s many waterways are ideal for kayaking, canoeing and boating, and the upper Ottawa River offers some of the best whitewater rafting anywhere. And nearby Gatineau Park offers hiking, rock climbing, camping, exciting zip line aerial experiences and more.
THIS YEAR marks the 65th Anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, in which Canadian soldiers played such a large role. The Dutch Royal Family spent the years of World War II in Ottawa, and the current queen’s sister, Princess Margriet, was born here. So when the war ended and the family went home, they sent a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to the people of Canada, via Ottawa, in a gesture of respect and friendship.
Those tulips form the basis of what evolved into the Canadian Tulip Festival and in fact, a tulip gift continues to be made each year!
This year, the iconic festival will run May 7 – 24 , and will honour veterans by hosting many special events, including an opening day afternoon tribute at the National War Memorial. The tribute will be followed by the Liberation Street Party that recreates the spontaneous street party that took on VE Day—party like it’s 1945!
300,000 tulips at Commissioners Park near Dows Lake are always the focus, and, as of May 14, activities begin in Major’s Hill Park as well. Tour the world at the International Pavilion, grab a brew at the Liberation Beer Garden, and catch an event at Celebridée (the “festival of ideas”).
Celebridée events are held in the
“Cabaret Libre” Mirror Tent, a weatherproof setting with hardwood floors, dramatic brocade and festive cheer. You can also check out the Liberation Swing Band and a late-night concert series of Ottawa performers.
Admission to both festival sites is free, though some events at the Mirror Tent will require tickets.
Ottawa Tourism’s Tulip Celebration Package provides accommodation, a Tulip Passport with savings at restaurants and spas, and a selection of museum admission, city tour, or concert at the National Arts Centre.
CANADIAN TULIP FESTIVAL
GAY TRAVEL GUYS at New Gay Travel Guide