City Sightseeing, Events

Tulipmania at Pier 39

Spring comes early to Fisherman’s Wharf every year with the colorful Tulipmania celebration. Tulipmania at Pier 39 features hundreds of beautiful flowers, complete with guided tours by the experts. The festival usually falls around the third week of February. This year Tulipmania is going on from February 16-24, 2013.

The pier has arranged for the tulip experts to give a free guided tour every day, starting at 10AM. The tours meet at the Entrance Plaza, beside the crab statue in front of Pier 39. The tour follows the path of the tulips around the pier, where you can ask the landscaping experts all your questions and listen to their wisdom. At the end of the tour, participants will enjoy a reception with complimentary refreshments at the Wines of California Wine Bar. Those who are unable to take the once a day tour are welcome to take a flyer of the self-guided tour and see the tulips around the pier at their own pace.

The flower bulbs that grew into these beautiful tulips we see today were all planted last year, between November 21st and December 16th. Mid-November through mid-December is the optimum time to plant bulbs in the Bay Area. On average, each tulip flower will stay in bloom for two weeks. The landscape experts at Pier 39 plant a variety of bulbs from early, mid-season, and late season tulips, which is why the tulips can be seen here for at least six weeks.

There are approximately 100 bulbs planted in each of the big barrel planters. In addition to the 20 varieties of yellow and red tulips, you’ll also find narcissus, English primroses, parsley, yellow Iceland poppies, 1200 premixed daffodils, including trumpet –shaped daffodils, and much more alongside the tulips in the planters.

The tours, both guided and self-guided are a wealth of fascinating facts about these flowers. For example, did you know that most of the tulip bulbs planted on Pier 39 come directly from Holland, the land of tulips? The bulbs that don’t come from overseas come from Washington state. Another interesting fact is that tulips like the sun but can’t stand the heat. For them to live to their best potential their soil must never dry out.

For flower enthusiasts and those with green thumb inclinations, Tulipmania is a must do event of the season. This flower festival is fun for anyone who enjoys gazing upon and learning about these bright-colored plants. If you missed Tulipmania this year, don’t fret! Start your countdown to make sure you catch it next year!