Local groups and businesses will be making sure there’s lots of fanfare on the occasion of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the nation’s capital Thursday.

The Canadian Tulip Festival will display a five-foot tulip this week at the Rideau Centre in honour of Obama’s state visit.

Created by local artist Jill Alexander, the tulip depicts Obama’s campaign messages of hope and change through the president’s facial profile, along with other U.S. national symbols. In Canada, the tulip is a symbol of international friendship that dates back to WWII when the Dutch community gave Ottawa a gift of tulip bulbs in appreciation of the safe haven extended to the Dutch Royal family.

The tulip festival, which runs from May 1 to 18 this year, attracts more than 500,000 visitors annually.

Meanwhile, the founders of BeaverTails Canada have officially invited Obama to drop by their booth on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

“We hope he can make it, but we understand fully if he has other things on his mind and can’t make it on this first official trip to Ottawa,” said Grant Hooker, who travelled to Washington, D.C. to serve 1,800 ObamaTails to guests celebrating the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

He added that the invitation stands for the next eight years.

The ObamaTail will be added to the menu of all BeaverTails on the Rideau Canal Skateway, and in the ByWard Market on Thursday.