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Skagit Valley slates annual tulip celebration

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival welcomes visitors from around the world to enjoy the brilliant hues of spring as hundreds of acres of tulips burst into bloom in a veritable rainbow of colors.

The festival runs the entire month of April so visitors to the area can see the blossoms and take in a few other events and activities, ranging from street fairs and art shows to athletic events, including a tulip bike ride, a tulip run and a 110-team basketball tournament.

Major events are scheduled for all four weekends in April.

Leading off the first weekend is the Antique Craft and Flea Market and the Tulip Pedal bike ride featuring 20-, 40- and 60-mile routes.

On April 11, tulip fans will be treated to the US Bank/Kiwanis Impromptu parade and Tesoro Tulip Frolic in LaConner, the PACCAR open house and the Tulip Run.

The third weekend features the Antique Safari and Tulip Travelers at Cascade Mall, plus the three-day street fair in downtown Mount Vernon.

The closing weekend of the festival has an air show and fly-in on Saturday and the Garden Art Fair in Anacortes.

Festival events also include art shows, boat tours and farm attractions.

One of the signature events of the festival is the Kiwanis salmon barbecue, put on entirely by volunteers for 20-plus days during April.

Additional information on the festival is available at www.tulipfestival.org or by calling 360-428-5959. The festival office is staffed year-round.

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