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Chilliwack’s Tulips of the Valley Flower Festival in 2021

Tulips of the Valley

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is Vancouver’s largest and most famous flower festival. It takes place on a farm in Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley in April.

 


In this article you’ll find the following information:

Location | Dates & Hours | Admission Rates | Special Passes & Discounts | Sunrise Openings | Additional Information | Tips & Advice | About the Festival

Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the event.


 

Chilliwack Tulip Festival

Celebrating its 15th year, and formerly called Tulips of the Valley, the Chilliwack Tulip Festival is the Lower Mainland’s original tulip festival and Western Canada’s largest. With close to 20 acres of beautiful fields, the attraction is definitely worth checking out.

First day of the season for the event in 2021 was April 11th. Because of COVID-19, organizers are encouraging people just from within the Fraser Valley to attend. If you don’t live near Chilliwack, don’t go (but be sure to next year)!

On a sunny day, the fields are amazing and feature some 30 different varieties of tulips and over 6.5 million flowers in all!

New as of a couple of years ago are fields of hyacinths and peony-like double daffodils which add extra colour. The additional flowers also allow the festival to open a couple of weeks earlier than in previous years.

In 2019 the event featured around 20 acres of flowers overall including two acres of the hyacinths and three acres of the daffodils (with various parts of the fields blooming at different times). In 2020 the festival didn’t happen because of COVID-19. Calling itself just “Chilliwack Tulips” in 2021, it runs this year in a modified format beginning on April 11th.

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is put on by the people behind the same community’s tremendously popular Chilliwack Sunflower Festival which takes place at the end of the summer. Both festivals take place at the same farm, at 41310 Yale Road, and both are highly recommended.

If you like flowers and tulips, you should go! It’s impressive!

 

Tulip Festival Location

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival takes place in Chilliwack on a real working farm at 41310 Yale Road close to Exit #109 just off the Trans-Canada Highway.

Note: The farm is located in Chilliwack, not Abbotsford.

Driving from the Vancouver direction, on your way to the Chilliwack venue you’ll likely see signs to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival along the way. The festival in Abbotsford is a nice event too – just smaller and a bit more expensive. The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is just another 10 minutes or so further down the road.

 

Festival Dates & Hours

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival was cancelled for the 2020 season due to concerns about the ongoing spread of COVID-19. It opens on April 11th in 2021, but only for residents of the Fraser Valley region because of the pandemic.

Hours of operation in 2021 are from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekends and from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays (with guests having to be out by 7:30).

In 2018 the Chilliwack Tulip Festival was open for the season starting on Sunday, April 1st, which was a couple of weeks earlier than the previous year. In 2019 the first day of the season was Wednesday, April 10th. First day of the season in 2021 is April 11th.

A couple of years ago the fields were open to the public from April 18th until May 7th. 2018’s season went until May 6th. 2019’s final day was May 1st. When the event will finish in 2021 depends on the weather and this year’s growing season. We’re guessing that it’ll run at least until the first weekend in May, but possibly longer.

In years when it doesn’t get cancelled, the attraction is usually open from around 10:00 am until 7:00 pm on weekdays and from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekends and holidays. The fields are also open to the public on weekends from just before sunrise for an additional fee.

 

Red and White Tulips of the Valley
Chilliwack Tulip Festival

 

Festival Admission Rates

Early season admission to the attraction in 2021 cost between $4 and $15 depending on your age and when you bought your tickets. Tickets for children ages 3 to 12 cost $4 when purchased in advance and $6 if purchased on the day. For adults, and kids ages 13+, the cost was $10 for tickets bought the day before or earlier, and $15 when purchased on the day of your visit.

Tickets have since increased in price. From April 16th to May 2nd in 2021, admission for children ages 3 to 12 costs $8 in advance or $10 if purchased on the same day you visit. For everyone over the age of 12, including adults, tickets cost $20 if bought in advance or $25 on the day. In 2021, all tickets must be purchased online.

In past years the cost of admission has depended on the day you went, your age and how you bought your tickets. If you went on the weekend it cost more than a weekday, and if you purchased your ticket online it was cheaper than if you bought in person at the gate. In 2021, the price is the same on both weekdays and weekends. Also, tickets are not available for in-person, on-site purchase.

New for 2019, there were also “Early Bloom” prices and “Full Bloom” prices. The Early Bloom period was at the beginning of the season, before most of the tulips had fully bloomed, but when the fields of hyacinths and daffodils were in colour. The Full Bloom period, meanwhile, was when the tulips were at their peak and the scenery was at its most spectacular. Exact dates for each season depended on the weather.

In 2021, there is no difference between the “Early Bloom” prices and “Full Bloom” seasons.

 

Early Bloom Admission Prices in 2019

Below is the list of rates for 2019 during the Early Bloom season. (Note: Prices are subject to change.) 2022 rates will likely be similar (although exact details are to be confirmed).

If Purchased ONLINE (excluding extra online fees)

  • Adults (17+): $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends.
  • Seniors (65+): $4 on weekdays and $5 on weekends.
  • Youth (ages 6-16): $4 on weekdays and $5 on weekends.
  • Children (ages 0-5): Free
  • People with Disabilities: $4 on weekdays and $5 on weekends.
  • Family Pass 1 (1 adult and up to 3 youth): $12 on weekdays and $17 on weekends.
  • Family Pass 2 (2 adults and up to 3 youth): $18 on weekdays and $24 on weekends.
  • Sunrise Openings: $20 per person (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings starting 30 minutes before sunrise).

If Purchased at the GATE during the Early Bloom season (including GST):

  • Adults (17+): $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
  • Seniors (65+): $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends.
  • Youth (ages 6-16): $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends.
  • Children (ages 0-5): Free
  • People with Disabilities: $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends.
  • Sunrise Openings: $30 per person (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings starting 30 minutes before sunrise).

 

Full Bloom Admission Prices

Below is the list of rates for 2019 during the Full Bloom season. (Note: Prices were subject to change.)

If Purchased Online (excluding GST and extra online fees)

  • Adults (17+): $7 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
  • Seniors (65+): $5 on weekdays and $7 on weekends.
  • Youth (ages 6-16): $5 on weekdays and $7 on weekends.
  • Children (ages 0-5): Free
  • People with Disabilities: $5 on weekdays and $7 on weekends.
  • Family Pass 1 (1 adult and up to 3 children): $17 on weekdays and $22 on weekends.
  • Family Pass 2 (2 adults and up to 3 children): $24 on weekdays and $34 on weekends.
  • Sunrise Openings: $20 per person (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings starting 30 minutes before sunrise).

Click Chilliwack Tulip Festival to purchase tickets.

If Purchased at the Gate (including GST)

  • Adults (17+): $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends.
  • Seniors (65+): $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
  • Youth (ages 6-16): $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
  • Children (ages 0-5): Free
  • People with Disabilities: $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
  • Sunrise Openings: $30 per person (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings starting 30 minutes before sunrise).

 

Additional Notes about 2019 Prices

  • Family passes were only available in advance online. They were not available at the gate.
  • Adults with disabilities were charged the same price as youth and seniors, on both weekdays and weekends, plus their attendant got in for free!
  • Online tickets were available for purchase for any given day up until about one hour before closing on the same day (or at least that was the case in 2018).
  • With Locals Thursdays, it was best to remember to take valid ID with proof of your Chilliwack address.

To purchase online click Chilliwack Tulip Festival Tickets.

 

Rows of Flowers at the Chilliwack Tulip Festival

 

Special Passes & Discounts

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival typically offers a number of ways to save money. In addition to the above-mentioned discounts for families, seniors and people with disabilities, there are also Weekday Season’s Passes, Full Season’s Passes, special Photographer Passes and Local’s Day specials.

 

Weekday Season’s Pass

In years when there isn’t a pandemic, the Weekday Season’s Pass is good Monday to Friday on non-holiday weekdays during regular (non-sunrise) hours of operation. The cost in the past has been $25 per adult and $20 for youth and seniors, all plus taxes and online fees.

Weekday Season’s Passes must be purchased online in advance – they are not available on the day at the gate. These passes are not available in 2021, but we expect them to be in 2022.

 

Full Season’s Pass

In past years full Season’s Passes have allowed access to the venue during regular (non-sunrise) hours 7 days a week during the festival. The cost in the past has been $45 for adults and $35 for youth and seniors, all plus taxes and online fees.

These passes must also be purchased online in advance – they are not available at the gate.

 

Photographer All Access Pass

Photographer All Access Passes cost $65 per adult last season and $50 per youth or senior (plus GST and online fees). They allowed access to the site during regular festival hours, plus early access to see the sunrise on weekends. These too could only be purchased online.

 

Locals’ Discounts

On Thursdays, in past years at least, anyone with a permanent address from Chilliwack could pay just $4 at the gate. (Just don’t forget to take ID that proves you live in the area.) In 2021, we don’t expect there to be locals’ discounts. In fact, because of the site’s reduced operating capacity and government recommendations against non-essential travel, only residents of the Fraser Valley are encouraged to attend at all.

 

Weekend Sunrise Openings

Sunrise Openings in past years have been a special time on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between just before sunrise and regular opening hours when visitors could watch the early morning sun appear over the tulip fields (assuming good weather).

During the Sunrise Openings the venue has opened about half an hour before sunrise, which is enough time for photographers to find ideal spots to take their pictures from.

The actual time of sunrise varies over the course of the month. In Chilliwack at the beginning of April sunrise is at around 6:30 am. By the end of the month the sun starts appearing as much as 40 minutes earlier! Click Chilliwack Sunrise Schedule for exact times and remember to arrive up to 30 minutes earlier.

Admission for the Sunrise Openings in past years has been about $20 (plus taxes and online fees) in advance or $30 at the gate regardless of whether it’s Early Bloom season or Full Bloom season. We don’t expect there to be special Sunrise Openings in 2021. Hopefully they’ll be back in 2022.

 

Sunrise Openings Tips

Below are a couple of suggestions to keep in mind for future years.

TIP #1: Check the weather forecast before you go. If the sky is overcast and the sun can’t peak through, there obviously won’t be much of a sunrise.

TIP #2: Plan to arrive as close to opening time as you can as you’ll want to leave time to find a good spot and for unexpected delays. Also, the magic of the morning light begins before the sun actually starts to appear.

 

Chilliwack Tulip Festival

 

Additional Information

The cost for the Fraser Rotary Club Train was $1 per passenger a couple of years ago with proceeds benefiting charitable causes. Rides were complimentary on the Easter Long Weekend, however, as were the balloon animals and face painting stations. In 2019 the train ran just on weekends, but the cost to ride it was included with general admission.

Also at the festival most years are several specialty display gardens including a World Friendship tulip display. In 2018 there was also a Canada 150 display and one dedicated to Variety the Children’s Charity. In 2019 there were flower mosaics including one of an Aboriginal face.

 

Other Things to Know

Below are other valuable things to know to help make your experience at the Chilliwack Tulip Festival as exceptional as possible. (Note: Not all of the following are relevant in 2021. Because of COVID-19, for example, guests are not allowed to bring their own picnics.)

  • Dogs on leash are welcome.
  • Parking is free.
  • The site is non-smoking.
  • Food trucks are onsite daily, with 1-2 on weekdays and 3-5 on weekends and holidays. There is also the festival’s own Stroop Waffle stand which sells traditional caramel-filled Dutch cookies baked fresh on site. Try one! They’re delicious!
  • Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics (although picnic table seating is reserved for food truck patrons).
  • Cut and potted tulips are available for sale on site.
  • There is a scavenger hunt activity for kids at the festival.
  • Accessibility: There is limited handicapped parking. Also, wheelchairs and walkers are able to make it up to the edge of the fields by the parking lot fairly easily. On dry days wheelchairs will likely also be able to get around some, but not all, of the bark-mulch paths around the field. In wet weather, however, the venue is not recommended for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers with small wheels or people with mobility challenges.
  • The daffodils and Hyacinths bloom first, over the first couple of weeks of the festival. Tulips then appear in various stages of bloom after that, and are in full bloom during the first 10 days or so of the final two weeks. Orange tulips are usually the first to come and go, followed by all the other various colours.

 

Guerilla Q BBQ Ribs Food Truck
Guerilla Q BBQ Food Truck

 

Tips and Advice

Below are some more tips to help you make the most out of your experience at the Chilliwack Tulip Festival (in typical non-pandemic years).

TIP #1: Take a picnic or, better yet, try some of the festival’s food truck fare. The Stroop Waffles’ cookies are delicious, as are the barbecued ribs from Guerilla Q. With some luck, both will be there on the day you visit!

TIP #2: Take good walking shoes, but ones you don’t mind getting dirty. If wet weather, then wear boots.

TIP #3: Go on a sunny day when the colours are at their most magnificent.

TIP #4: Go on a weekday if you can. Weekdays are slightly less expensive than weekends and the crowds are less.

TIP #5: If you plan to visit the Chilliwack Tulip Festival several times, get a season’s pass! The passes are a great deal for people who love flowers, and folk who want to accompany friends and out-of-town visitors on different occasions.

TIP #6: The Easter Bunny usually makes occasional appearances at the venue on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Easter Long Weekend. There are also typically balloon animals and face painting stations on those days too (although possibly not in 2021).

TIP #7: Gas is usually about 10 cents or so cheaper in the Fraser Valley than in Metro Vancouver. Consequently, don’t forget to fill up your gas tank while in Chilliwack.

TIP #8: If you love flowers, be sure to check out the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival which runs in the late summer. It’s at the same venue and run by the same folk as the tulip festival. It too is impressive!

 

About Chilliwack’s Tulip Festival

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is a great concept. Onos Greenhouses grows the tulips for their bulbs which they use in their greenhouses to grow more tulips which they sell throughout Western Canada and parts of the United States.

Instead of just growing the tulips and then cutting them right away for sale, the festival invites the public to come see them at their peak. It means a feast for the eyes for the public and extra income for the farmer and festival organizers. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Tulips of the Valley (now called the Chilliwack Tulip Festival) has been running since 2006. It took a year off in 2016 but has been back in operation since 2017 at its present new venue.

 

Other Information

For more details about the festival in the spring, or to buy tickets, see the Chilliwack Tulip Festival website.

To learn more about the venue’s other annual festival, which takes place in the fall, click Chilliwack Sunflower Festival.

For ideas on other things to do in the area click Fraser Valley.

For a list of other events in the Lower Mainland, see Vancouver’s April Events Calendar or click Festivals & Events.