We always talk about how gorgeous the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is, and for good reason. It's amazing! Acres and acres of tulips of every known variety.
But the amazing thing about the festival is there is so much more happening there as well. Great kids' activities, delicious food, numerous vendors, wine tasting and wooden shoe making demonstrations are just a few of the additional things happening that make it so easy to spend a whole day at the festival. I had the opportunity to try a couple of those this week, and it really did add to the experience.
My first order of business was to meet with Nels, who is part of the Iverson clan that owns and operates the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. Nels first learned how to make the wooden shoes to take over for the prior gentleman who did it at the festival as he was retiring. What started out as a "had-to-do" turned into a "want-to-do" as Nels now makes shoes as a hobby. He finds it relaxing, while I find it fascinating to watch. In just minutes you can see the shape of the shoe coming to life out of what was a block of Poplar wood just a few moments ago. He can make a medium-sized shoe in as little as 15 minutes while it takes only a few hours for a pair of full-sized shoes that can be worn - and they can be worn, just look at Nel's feet for confirmation there.
After watching the craftsman at work, I hung out with Barb Iverson, who herds the cats that is the very busy Wooden Shoe Farm. They planted vineyards back in 2009 and started producing wines in 2013. While they have the Willamette Valley standards like pinot noir, Barb wanted to specialize in lesser-known varietals. I sampled a Marechal Foch and a sparkling blush moscato. The first is a strong red that is aggressively fruity. And I like that a lot. The second is a remarkably refreshing wine that went perfectly with my Easter Sunday ham. I may make another ham now just to have an excuse for the wine.
The festival hasn't hit peak bloom yet, so you still have time to plan that visit if you haven't. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is located at 33814 S. Meridian Road in Woodburn, Or. It's open 9am-6pm and runs through May 6. Be sure to use our #omht hashtag when sharing the amazing photos you'll get on your social channels.