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The Canadian Tulip Festival: Celebrating the Naval Reserve Centennial

May 12, 2023 @ 10:00 am - May 22, 2023 @ 11:00 pm PDT

Global EAT - Canadian Tulip Festival

The Canadian Tulip Festival will once again transform Ottawa into one of the most picturesque destinations in Canada.

The Canadian Tulip Festival has teamed up with the Royal Canadian Navy to celebrate the Naval Reserve Centennial at Commissioners Park this year.

Enjoy the beauty of spring among 306,000 gorgeous tulips at Dow’s Lake from May 12th – 22nd, 2023.  The 71st edition will highlight brave citizen sailors who played a role during the struggle for Dutch liberation in the Second World War.

Festival Opening

The world’s largest festival will open on May 13 at 11 a.m. with the lighting of the Canadian Remembrance Torch.  A parade will follow down Queen Elizabeth Drive.

It will end with the Navy League vessel Howard toting a landing craft with a vintage cannon and carriage onto the water for an official gun salute.


  • Free Pollinator’s Blacklight Boardwalk at Dow’s Lake: Nightly from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. featuring over a thousand tulips displayed under ultraviolet light.  This special effect lets visitors enjoy the flowers through the lens of a bee or butterfly.
  • Sound & Light Show: This new show features the Battle of the Atlantic – the stories of HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Haida using special effects.
  • Walking theatrical performance, “Ghosts of the Glebe”: Hear haunting stories of Women’s Reservist (WREN)’s friends who sacrificed at sea.  Ticket is $20 per person.
  • Tulip Legacy Walking Tour: Explore over 30 breeds of tulips, the romantic and royal story behind the park. Ticket is $10 per person, children 12 and under are free.
  • Byward Mini-Market: Shop from a selection of artisans offering handcrafted tulip-themed merchandise.
  • Movies in the Park:  Free showings of popular films at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily.
  • Hungry for food?  Food trucks and concessions are available on-site.

For more fun things to do, click here.

Related: Camping: 5 Awesome Sites in BC and Alberta



May 12, 2023 @ 10:00 am PDT
May 22, 2023 @ 11:00 pm PDT
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