Tulip season has come and gone, but for a brief moment, a million bulbs of multicolored beauty graced the island.
Thousands traveled across the island to Manorville, where they visited the Waterdrinker Family Farm’s annual Tulip Festival this spring. The short-lived attraction opened April 17 and came to a close May 8. It provided memories for kids meeting the Easter bunny and moms who soaked in more flowers than a Mother’s Day bouquet could ever possibly provide.
Since May 14, the farm invited those who plant gardens of their own to “dig days,” a chance to dig up and take home tulip bulbs to plant at home next season.
During the festival’s four weekends, the family farm’s parking lot filled up and cars parked along Wading River Road, stretching past nearby Lenny Bruno farms, reaching the entry ramp to the Long Island Expressway to the north.
Once inside, friends and families tiptoed through a nearly overwhelming field of multichromatic tulips bloomed from the million bulbs the Weiss family planted, enjoyed eats from food trucks and sipped beers from the Long Island Farm Brewery, all scored to live musical acts.
For children, the farm offered pedal race tracks, jumbo bouncy pads and jungle gym attractions to explore, as parents looked on and snapped memories. Guests could also visit petting zoo animals, play a round of mini golf, and take a spin in a human-sized hamster-like wheel. With all the activities, families with children made the Tulip Festival a daylong affair.
“I work around the corner and I saw it the other day and I said, ‘This would be beautiful for the family,’” said Frank Anyah, his daughter Anaya on his shoulders and his wife Rebecca—expecting their second child—by his side. “She loves it. She was a little upset when we had to leave the bouncy area, but she’s enjoying herself.”
From stationary bicycles and chairs, to a full-scale windmill and—of course—the polychromatic natural landscape of the tulips themselves, all those who descended on Waterdrinker were granted incredible photo opportunities. While most wore casual, comfortable clothes, some guests dressed their best to snap a unique photo in a delightful spring bloom. Others brought professional-grade cameras, selfie sticks, and even accessories to capture a perfect moment.
“We’re big picture people,” Nick Flagg said, alongside his family. “There’s a lot of photo ops here, so it’s great to take pictures.”
Simone Flagg, his wife, said she researched multiple farms to spend a day with the family, which also included their daughter, Melanie.
“I was on Instagram and I came across it,” Simone Flagg said. “This one was just beautiful, a lot of colors. It’s actually better than I expected it to be; I’m not going to lie.”
Nick Flagg said the family will likely make the Waterdrinker Family Farm Tulip Festival a tradition after they welcome a new addition to the family.
“We’re expecting another little one, so hopefully next year we’ll bring the newborn back to have another good day at the Tulip Festival.”
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