Search for the Crystal Tulip  |  Pella, Iowa  |  A holiday competition sponsored by Brand Appeal and the Pella Chamber of Commerce

Join the Search November 20, 2021

history of discovery

In 2012, Darrin, Holly and Kaitlyn Fairchild discovered the Crystal Tulip deep within the drinking fountain at Sunken Gardens. They will forever hold the honor of renewing Pella’s lost tradition — the Search for the Crystal Tulip! Kelly Taylor and her daughter, Lydia, discovered the Crystal Tulip two years in a row! It was hidden under the monkey bars in West Market Park in 2013, then under an evergreen by the Pella tennis courts in 2014. In 2015, Curt and Brenda Jones discovered the Crystal Tulip on the abandoned bridge that overlooks Highway 163 on the West side of Pella. Brent Martin found the Crystal Tulip in the crawl space under a bridge at Big Rock Park in 2016. In 2017, the Taylor family found the Crystal Tulip beneath the equipment shed at the Pella Sports Park. Carson and Owen found the Crystal Tulip in the creek bed by the swimming pool in 2018. Andrea Taylor was our 2019 winner, she found the Crystal Tulip in the ditch just off highway 163, by Casey's and Dairy Queen.

legend has it...

The first established holiday season in Pella in 1847, there bloomed a mysterious Crystal Tulip
in a barren and  snow-laden flower bed north of the square. Pella residents were both intrigued and distant, as no one had seen anything like this Crystal Tulip before. "What is the meaning of this?" was the questioned raised. While some answered with skepticism, others believed it was a blessing from above. No matter the theory, the Crystal Tulip was seen as something special in the eyes of all, and the discovery of the Crystal Tulip was celebrated with thanksgiving and joy.

As the years went on, the Crystal Tulip was found blooming each holiday season as it had in 1847. However, where it appeared was not so easily determined ― for each year the Crystal Tulip was found in a different location. Some years it was discovered  blooming in one of the flower beds in and around the city,  while in other years it was found hidden indoors and in
odd locations. But once found, the town celebrated together ― filling the streets with song
and dance. And so early on, the holiday season began with joyous anticipation of the
Search for the Crystal Tulip.

Sometime during the early 1900s the traditional Search for the Crystal Tulip was abandoned, though no one knows exactly why. Some have said that the Crystal Tulip no longer bloomed each year, while others say it bloomed, but could not be found. And so the tradition has been kept in silence ever since ― until now...

On the morning of October 1st, 2012, at the front door of Brand Appeal there was a letter addressed to the citizens of Pella and signed, ‘Anonymous.’ In this letter the writer declared
that the Crystal Tulip was in bloom at that very moment, and could be found by following the provided clues. Brand Appeal made the clues available to all, restoring Pella‘s joyful holiday Search.

join the search

Get ready for an "amazing race" styled search!

Typically, this event would be spread out over the course of a week, but this year we decided to make it a one-day event on November 20, 2021, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. To register, just send us a message on Facebook or Instagram stating your team name, and the number of team members. Teams can be as small and as big as you would like. Once you register, we will send your team further details about the event.

Sign your team up, we hope you are just as excited as we are!


in reward

The winner will win $250 in Pella bucks, prizes will also be given out to second and third place as well.


The Search for the Crystal Tulip is proudly sponsored by: