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Forty acres of tulips in bloom during the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest outside Woodburn on Sunday, April 15, 2018. The festival continues through May 6, with this week and next being peak bloom time. Wochit

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Spring is here, but did anyone tell the tulips?

The highly anticipated Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest will open on March 23, but don’t expect to see much color on opening weekend.

Due to a cold, late winter, the tulips are showing up later than expected, said Gabrielle Mueller, marketing director for the festival.

For people who want to see the tulips at peak bloom, she said they should plan to visit mid to late April. Checking the daily field report and looking at their social media to keep up with the field progress is encouraged before making the trip. 

But activities will be operating according to schedule on opening weekend.

The 35th annual festival sees the return of beloved attractions including hay wagon rides, the Tulip Market and the Tulip Trail Run, a 5K, 10K and half-marathon on March 23.

Special events returning throughout the season include the Bottle & Bottega painting classes, photography lessons from The Shutterbug, Jake Egbert and Tim Reed, as well as live music.

And don’t forget about hot air balloon rides (weather permitting, of course).

Wooden Shoe has a full schedule of special events available on their website. 

The tulip festival has become an Oregon icon, Mueller said. It’s a family tradition spanning generations, and they work hard each year to create an event where other families and friends can make memories.

Here are some new things to expect from this year’s festival:

New weekend hours, traffic updates

The festival has been open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in years past. 

To better accommodate the mass influx of attendees on the weekends, Mueller said they have extended the hours to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

They are also implementing traffic updates via their social media and the website so travelers are aware of how long it will take to get into the festival, which will be especially helpful on warm, sunny weekends when it’s popular to visit. 

New wine release 

Did you know festival admission comes with two free wine tastings? 

The tasting room at Wooden Shoe Vineyards, located on the same site as the farm, is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. during the festival.

There are a dozen wines to try ranging from a sweet Moscato to deep, bold reds. Mueller said they will release a sweet tempranillo in late April, as well. 

Leaving the tulip fields to taste wine isn’t necessary, though, because there is a tasting tent in the fields. 

“People can buy a glass and even walk though the fields with a glass of wine,” Mueller said. “Which is like my favorite thing in the world.”

View this post on Instagram

This estate grown blush colored 100% Pinot Noir grape rose is a lightly sophisticated, floral fruit forward delight.

A post shared by Wooden Shoe Vineyards (@woodenshoewine) on

Red Barn Hemp

Ross Iverson, who purchased the farm with his wife, Dorothy, in 1950, was fatally diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

The doctors said they couldn’t do anything for the 90-year-old and sent him home with pain medication, said Christina Iverson, his granddaughter.

Someone suggested he try CBD oil instead of pain medicine to make him more comfortable, and it worked.

The CBD oil allowed him to be coherent, have conversations, spend time on the farm and with family for the last few weeks of his life, Christina said. 

“Seeing how it helped him and the quality of life he was able to have (with CBD oil) made me want to share that with others,” she said. 

And that’s why she founded Red Barn Hemp in 2017. 

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Products range from capsules, tinctures, oils, topical creams, bath bombs and chocolates that can help with pain. 

A new addition to the tulip festival will be a red barn near the food vendors where attendees can learn about the Iverson family and purchase CBD products. 

To learn more, visit www.redbarnhemp.net.

Abby Luschei is the entertainment reporter for the Statesman Journal; she can be reached at aluschei@statesmanjournal.com or 503-399-6747. Follow her on Twitter @abbyluschei or facebook.com/luscheiabby. 

Interested in telling at one of the upcoming Salem Storytellers Project events? Submit your story: storytellersproject.com/salem/speak/

If you go 

  • What: The 35th annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival featuring acres of tulips, daily activities, special events and more. 
  • When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, March 23 through April 29 
  • Location: Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm & Vineyard, 33814 S. Meridian Road, Woodburn
  • Cost: $40 season pass, $20 family car day pass, $5 individual day pass for ages 13 and older, $15 individual sunrise entrance pass; $30 12 person or more passenger van day pass, $20 senior bus day pass, $40 senior bus season pass, $85 coach bus day pass, $50 school bus day pass; free for children younger than 12
  • Information: www.woodenshoe.com/events/tulip-fest or 503-634-2243

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