Captain Rob Huss, Washington State Patrol, offered some advice for festival patrons, "Washington State Patrol, along with local law enforcement agencies want to ensure drivers know the ins and outs of getting around the heavily congested tulip fields in the vicinity of Mount Vernon and La Conner. The Washington State Patrol’s goal is to prevent collisions from occurring due to increased visual distractions outside the vehicle."
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has been one of the Northwest’s signature events since 1983. Every spring hundreds of thousands of people show up to watch millions of beautiful tulips begin to bloom. The Tulip Festival has become a very popular attraction; in 2013 the Skagit Valley greeted visitors from all 50 states, as well as from 82 foreign countries.
Huss offered some advice for drivers, "Drivers should also pay particular attention if driving on SR-20 between the City of Burlington and Anacortes due to higher than normal traffic volumes. Traffic is expected to be congested along SR-536 (Memorial Highway) between Mount Vernon and SR-20. We want drivers to watch for a high volume of bicycle and pedestrian traffic along SR-536 between Beaver Marsh Road and Bradshaw road, which are popular festival areas. Heaviest traffic typically occurs on nice weekends from late morning until late afternoon."
"The Washington State Patrol is asking drivers and motorcyclists to slow down, take their time and watch out for each other. Drivers and riders should make a plan before setting out and expect heavier than normal traffic volumes in these areas. This will hopefully ease frustrations, remembering they will not be the only ones wanting to see the flowers in bloom."
“The last thing we want to have is a serious injury or fatality collision caused by visual distractions outside their vehicles,” said Washington State Patrol District 7 Captain Jeff Sass. “We want drivers to have a save trip to and from the festival,” he said.