Ottawa

No tiptoeing through the tulips this year as festival goes online

The Canadian Tulip Festival is urging flower-lovers not to visit Commissioners Park next month — but instead enjoy a virtual version of the annual floral showcase.

Some 300,000 bulbs will bloom in Commissioners Park, but don't go visit

People walk past a grove of tulips at Commissioners Park in 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing this year's festival online, and people are being urged not to check out the vibrant floral blooms in person. (Trevor Pritchard)

The Canadian Tulip Festival is urging flower-lovers not to tiptoe through Commissioners Park next month — but instead enjoy a virtual version of the annual floral showcase.

Some 300,000 tulips will still bloom in the park near Dow's Lake, but programming during the May 8-18 festival will instead take place online, the festival said in a Friday statement.

Those who don't live near the park are being asked to stay away in order to halt the spread of COVID-19.

"Local residents are permitted to walk through the park, but there is no stopping, no photos, and you must remain a safe distance apart," the statement said.

A "virtual garden tour" of the tulips will be hosted at the festival's website, as will programming related to the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War.

The festival will also be delivering bouquets of tulips to hospitals on both sides of the Ottawa River, in order to thank front-line workers during the pandemic.

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