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Here’s the Tulip Festival’s schedule in Ottawa, how to get there

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The 72nd edition of the Tulip Festival kicked off Friday, offering a variety of activities happening at Commissioners Park and the ByWard Market.

The festival is free and will run until May 20.

Here is the schedule of the 11-day festival:

Shop the Tulip Market

A variety of fresh-cut and potted tulips can be purchased daily from 10 a.m. till 8 p.m. at Commissioners Park.

Proceeds from the sales will be going to the Canadian Tulip Legacy, says the festival on its website.

Movies and More in the Park

The festival includes free children’s matinee everyday at 2 p.m. at Commissioners Park.

It also includes free family friendly features at 7 p.m., daily.

“When we aren’t showing movies, we’re playing games! Try a free flight simulator, or have a family Mario kart race. Take in live workshops and special events!” the festival adds.

Backlight Boardwalk

The Blacklight Boardwalk is free and takes place nightly from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Commissioners Park.

“Learn about the importance of pollinators in the only blacklight tulip garden in the world,” reads the website. “See the flowers like the bees and butterflies do, in the glowing UV Spectrum with over 1,000 blooms along the Boardwalk.”

‘Operation Manna’ Show

The free 10-minute show is also nightly and starts at 9 p.m. at Commissioners Park.

The festival warns that this show has flashing lights, fog and loud noises.

Here’s how to get there:

If you’re going to be driving, parking is available at Carleton University, P7 Lot, for $12 daily. After parking, you have to be prepared for an eight-minute walk with stairs.

“New this year, a Dow’s Lake Water Taxi Service with a historical tour is available, loading just north of the Carleton parking Lot, and taking guests directly to the festival’s Blacklight Boardwalk, for $12 per person, per ride,” reads the festival’s website.

If you’re opting to take an Uber or a Taxi, you should ask them to drop you off on Carling Avenue, as some road closures are causing delays around Dows Lake Pavilion.

OC Transpo will also be operating and connecting Ottawa residents. More information is available on its website.

ByWard Market Hop-on Hop-Off Tulip Tour

You can buy a ticket for a small fee — $5 – to get a ride to and from Commissioners park. The tour stops at Lord Elgin Hotel, Fairmont Chateau Laurier, ByWard Market Blooms at the York Street Tulip Plaza by the OTTAWA Letters, the Westin Ottawa, the Metcalfe Hotel and ,finally, Canadian Tulip Festival at Commissioners Park.

“Thanks to our friends at Cobblestone Tours, the Tulip Tour will be making stops between downtown Ottawa hotels and attractions and the festival grounds,” says the festival.

Tickets for the Tulip Tour can be booked online.

The festival, which commemorates the role of the Canadian troops in the liberation of the Netherlands and Europe, has been held every year since 1953.

Each May, more than one million tulips blanket in Commissioners Park, along the Rideau Canal, and in various parts of the city. The event typically sees around 500,000 visitors and costs around $800,000. Riding said the festival has an economic impact of over $40 million for the city.

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Leah Larocque

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