Favourable weather conditions contributed to what Canadian Tulip Festival organizers called "a wildly successful" first weekend for the event.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to four locations for the Canadian Tulip Festival over the weekend, taking in the sights, enjoying shows and food, and of course, checking out the tulips.

If this first weekend is any indication, this year will see the biggest and best Canadian Tulip Festival ever, said Connor McGuire, spokesman for the Canadian Tulip Festival yesterday.


"This tulip festival will be wildly successful above all other years," he said. "We had more of a crowd than we anticipated. We had so many people out at Major's Hill Park that we had to print more tickets."

The three other locations were also popular, said McGuire.

This year, the International Pavilion was moved to Lansdowne Park and the Mirror Tent moved to Festival Plaza at city hall to allow more space for attractions, including the popular circus school, at Major's Hill Park.

Lindsey Hallman, who went to check out the events in Major's Hill Park yesterday, said she was intrigued with the idea of the circus school.

"I might try it out one of these weekends, but for now, I haven't worked up the nerve," she said. "I think it will be great for the younger crowd."

While the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe sold out or nearly sold out for every performance at city hall, the International Pavilion had over 5,000 attendees in the first two days, said McGuire.

For Ottawa resident Brenna Cook, the pavilion is the highlight of the festival.

"I enjoy it because it‚s fun to see the different cultures and the breadth of people in Canada,‰ said the Wilfrid Laurier University student.

Her friend, Carleton student Katherine Joberty said she looks forward to the festival every spring.

Over at Dow's Lake, thousands of people came out to check out the tulips.

"The tulips aren't 100 per cent right now, but they're starting to look really beautiful," said McGuire.

Because the festival is so contingent on weather, organizers have, in part, Mother Nature to thank for the first weekend, said McGuire.

The tulip shuttles, transporting people between the four locations, have also been well-used, he said, and yet another reason for the festival's success is this year's lineup for the Celebridee series, McGuire said.

"We have acts that the whole family can enjoy," McGuire said. "We have a lot of entertainment that appeals to a much wider audience while retaining the intellectual entertainment that we prided ourselves to bringing to Ottawa."

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