Tulip Time Announces 2024 Grand Marshals

Tulip Time Festival, Inc. is happy to announce the 2024 grand marshals for its parades. The Gentex Kinderparade grand marshal will be Waukazoo Elementary, represented by principal Audra Bolhuis. The Quality Car Wash Volksparade grand marshal will be the retiring executive director of the Holland Aquatic Center, Jack Huisingh.

Bolhuis and Huisingh will lead their respective parades down 8th Street, keeping with tradition. The Gentex Kinderparade will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2024, and the Quality Car Wash Volksparade will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Both parades will begin at 2:00 PM EST.

Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time’s Executive Director, said, “We are thrilled to honor Waukazoo School as they celebrate 150 years and Jack Huisingh for his work in the community this year.

Gentex Kinderparade

Waukazoo Elementary (originally District #2 of Park Township) was chosen as a Grand Marshal to help celebrate its 150th anniversary. Originally Waukazoo Elementary served as a one-room schoolhouse in Park Township and has seen many changes over the last 150 years as it continues to serve its’ community.

“The honor that our school has to serve as the Grand Marshal this year is a tribute to the generations of families that have made Waukazoo Elementary their home,” Bolhuis said of the appointment. “To have our school included in the annual parade this year makes my role as principal even more special. This will certainly be a memory that will last a lifetime for our families and for me.”

Waukazoo Elementary is celebrating its 150 years throughout the year. Each student received a commemorative t-shirt to start the year. Waukazoo’s SAIL students (their advanced ELA students) have been researching the school’s history and creating and delivering presentations on their progress. Former staff dropped into classrooms to read to students during March is Reading Month to have a “Drop Everything and Read Day.

Waukazoo will have an open house on May 29 from 6-7:30 pm where they will open their doors to the community and have student projects on display that will highlight the history of the school.

Quality Car Wash Volksparade

The Quality Car Wash Volksparade will be led by Grand Marshal Jack Huisingh, the Executive Director of the Holland Aquatic Service in light of his more than 10 years of service to the Holland community.

Huisingh responded to the request to serve as grand marshal; “I was genuinely surprised when Gwen (Executive Director of Tulip Time), asked me to be the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade. I do consider it a genuine honor to represent the city I love, and grew up in and work in today. I have been truly blessed to be allowed to serve at our Holland Aquatic Center and to help create something for our next generation.”

Huisingh grew up in Holland and has traveled the world. His travels have served to highlight how special the Holland community is with its’ legacy of Tulip Time and the beautiful amenities like the one he serves in, the Holland Aquatic Center. Huisingh remembers growing up watching the showmanship of the Holland Public Schools bands and later, joining them by marching in the band. He now enjoys being a spectator and watching the joy the festival brings to his grandchildren and to visitors of Holland.

Holland Aquatic Center (HAC) is a public facility where community members can meet and have fun together in a beautiful, clean, and safe environment focusing on water, fitness, fun, therapy, and rehabilitation. HAC also serves schools, colleges, and universities for swimming and diving practices and championships. HAC recently completed a $30 million renovation and expansion project, expanding it’s service capability to 350,000 annual visits. The HAC returns more than $13 million in annual economic impact to the Holland community.