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Albany Tulip Festival will be a virtual celebration throughout the month of May

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A month-long version of the Tulip Festival kicks off next week with in-person tulip tours and virtual entertainment.

The festival is traditionally held on Mother’s Day weekend and draws thousands of people from the capital region and beyond to downtown Albany. For the second year in a row, due to the pandemic, the organizers had to create a virtual version of the festival.

Last year when the pandemic first hit, we left the offices around March 16 or 17. We really had no idea what was going to happen and we decided we were going to do a video of the Tulip Festival, said Ryan Murray, public relations coordinator for the Office of Cultural Affairs in Albany.

The virtual celebration lasted around five hours and although it was a success Murray said organizers knew they had to do something different this year.

Almost every day in May, they will post a video of an artist performing, a children’s program, a yoga class, and more. While the full lineup has yet to be announced, Murray said the festival will include regional artists like Girl Blue.

Well, have bands playing on our pages that would normally play at the Tulip Festival but were going to make some unique videos with them, not just at home. If you were to do gorilla video shoots without telling anyone what was going on, the videos will be played in a single area, Murray said.

Beyond that, they’ll have a virtual Park Playhouse performance, RED library readings, and a Melvin the Magnificent magic show.

As for in-person programming, Tulip Tours will run Monday through Friday May 14, with four tours per day. Eight people will be allowed to participate in one tour at a time. To register, visit eventbrite.com.

Another festival tradition, the crowning of the queen of tulips, will have to be postponed until later this year.

The pandemic is making things a bit trickier for the Tulip Queen process. We have to interview people on Zoom and we usually have a small face-to-face meeting for the candidates and in order to do that we have to narrow the field. . so it takes longer, Murray said.

The ceremony will take place in June and will be broadcast live. The Capital Region’s Mother of the Year ceremony will also take place later this year.

Adapting the Tulip Festival to a hybrid in-person and virtual event was a difficult process.

The major challenge is to find a way to allow people to enjoy the festival safely again before we can hopefully return next year to our usual way of doing it. We want people to take advantage and have a good time with it but want [people] always being safe and that’s the tricky part, said Murray.

However, people were quick to step in and help.

It’s good because so many people are so invested in this festival and they want to see people enjoy it. Lots of people, as soon as we said we were gonna do stuff last year and this year [said] Whatever we can do to help, we want to be a part of it. So that has been very good, said Murray.

The videos will be posted on Facebook (@AlbanyNYEvents), YouTube (Albany Events) and albanyevents.org.

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