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Canadian Tulip Festival Celebrates Century of RCAF with Spectacular Lineup

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Tulip Festival, a beloved annual event celebrating the blooming of tulips in Ottawa, is set to mark a significant milestone this year as it honors the century of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Running over 11 days and nights from Friday, May 10th to Monday, May 20th, the festival promises an array of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

Originating from the grounds of the original Ottawa Civic Hospital, where Princess Margriet of the Netherlands was born during World War II, the festival has deep historical roots. The tulips gifted by the royal family to Ottawa serve as a symbol of gratitude for Canada’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands and for sheltering the Dutch royal family during the war.

The festival, held at Commissioners Park, Dow’s Lake, will feature over 300,000 tulips out of the million that bloom in the capital. Highlights of the event include:

  • Opening Ceremonies: Commencing at 10:30 am EDT on Saturday, May 11th, with esteemed Second World War Veteran RCAF Lancaster Tail Gunner, Ronald “Shorty” Moyes, the ceremonies will include a parade with the Canadian Armed Forces Central Band, remarks from dignitaries, and an RCAF flypast.
  • Activities: Attendees can enjoy a range of activities such as the Tulip Legacy Tour, family-friendly movies, mini planes and a runway for children, the RCAF Flower Fun Run, and indulge in festival favorites from food trucks and regional artisans at the Tulip Market and Boutique.
  • Nightly Programming: Visitors can experience the captivating Blacklight Boardwalk at Dow’s Lake and witness the Sound & Light Story “Operation Manna” at 9 pm, which recounts the heroic efforts of the RCAF during World War II.
  • Closing Ceremonies: The festival will conclude with closing ceremonies at 8:30 pm EDT on Sunday, May 19th, followed by a spectacular 10-minute, 200-drone “Drone Show” over Dow’s Lake at 9:30 pm.


The Canadian Tulip Festival offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit event for both locals and tourists. This year’s celebration of the RCAF’s century adds an extra layer of significance, honoring the bravery and sacrifice of those who served during World War II. With an exciting lineup of activities and attractions, including the new ByWard Market expansion, the festival promises to delight attendees of all ages. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun-filled day out with the family, the Canadian Tulip Festival has something for everyone.

For more information and updates on the festival, visit

Tiana Squire

Tiana Squire is our Leisure and Lifestyle Writer, dedicated to covering a wide array of topics including restaurants & bars, fashion, travel and tourism, family events and entertainment. With a passion for exploring and sharing the best in leisure experiences, Tiana brings her unique perspective and enthusiasm to each piece she writes. For inquiries or feedback, contact Tiana at

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