The Netherlands is getting ready for another autumn party

The Netherlands is getting ready for another autumn party

HOLLAND — Another year, another fun fall festival.

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Holland’s annual Autumn Festival returns to the lakeshore from Friday through Saturday, October 7-8. The two-day festival is packed with activities, including professional pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting, community tulip planting, a craft market, street performers, and the regular downtown farmers’ market.

The festivities kick off Friday with the planting of 75,000 of Holland’s famous tulip bulbs at Window on the Waterfront. The bulbs are planted in October so that they bloom in time for the Tulip Time Festival in May 2023. All volunteers, who can participate in the 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm sessions, will be treated to Biggby’s coffee. Gardening gloves are recommended, but all other tools and instructions are provided.

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Tulips are also planted on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

On both days, Tulip Time’s second annual Fall Fest Artisan Market takes place in Windmill Island Gardens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. specialty foods and more. Admission is $5 per person, which includes entry to the gardens and attractions on Windmill Island.

Greg Butauski, a certified master sculptor, is working on a carving of a Xenomorph from the Alien movies during Fall Fest in October 2021 in the center of the Netherlands.

Both days will also feature engravings by eight of the country’s top professionals, including Food Network alumni. They appear in central Holland on Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. and spend the afternoon and evening carving jack-o-lanterns along Eighth Street. In the evening, the lanterns are lit and can be seen until 10 p.m.

The carving continues on Saturday, when professionals will appear at the Holland Farmers Market between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to create 3D sculptures on the spot. Kids can paint their own pumpkins for $1 each, using all the paint supplies from Fris Supply Shop. Open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the market is filled with pumpkins, gourds, mums, and corn shakes — along with apples, potatoes, carrots, pastries, farm meats, honey, maple syrup, and a variety of other foods and beverages.

The sculptors will return to Eighth Street from noon to 7pm on Saturday, and the pumpkins will be lit again until 10pm for viewing. Dutch street performers also return for Fall Fest, where they entertain for free on Eighth Street on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Expect musicians, face painters, balloon turners and more.

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— Contact reporter Cassandra Lybrink at Follow her on Twitter @CassLybrink.

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