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      Where are the Tulips?

      (ORANGE CITY, IA) Summer got a head start in 2012 and this year winter's hanging on for dear life. That has folks in Orange City worried about the fate of the annual Tulip Festival. Last year, the flowers bloomed far too early but 2013 is a totally different story.

      The 73rd annual Orange City Tulip Festival is right around the corner but will there be any tulips?

      "We've had a lot of cool weather, snow, in a time of the year we didn't expect it so the tulips are probably a little bit behind but if we get some warmer weather we should be okay," says Nora Mulder, Co-owner of Tulip Town Bulb Co.

      Its safe to say Mother Nature has teased us with 70-degree temperatures one day and snow the next but Nora and her husband Brett say tulips are stronger than they look.

      "Tulips are quite hearty if there's no bloom in the tulip coming out already and we get a cold spell we'll be fine," she says.

      So far only a few tulips have begun to blossom.

      Even though the cold temperatures have kept these flowers from blooming on time, the cold weather will act almost like a refrigerator and preserve these even longer.

      "Hopefully if we have a warmer week next week and the following we should be at least pretty much on schedule to have at least half blooming and the rest not far behind," says Mulder.

      But even if the weather doesn't behave, the tulip festival is much more than colorful bulbs.

      "So when our visitors come in and they want to see the tulips, they can walk through the gardens but that experience is over in a matter of minutes. Our activities begin at 9 in the morning and we can keep people entertained all day long until 11 o'clock in the evening," says Rachel Meekma, the Orange City Tulip Festival Coordinator.

      And hey this weather hasn't been all bad

      "We've really appreciated this moisture because the tulips really love this moisture as well," she says.

      The festival runs from May 16th through the 18th.

      Hleigh@siouxlandnews.com

      www.Facebook.com/HeatherLeighKMEG

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