Ava Grossmann wants people to have a right royal time as they discover the Dutch.
The 18-year-old senior at Unity Christian High School in Orange City is the 2016 Orange City Tulip Festival Queen and will reign over the 76th annual celebration, which is set for Thursday-Saturday, May 19-21, in the Sioux County community of more than 6,000.
Grossmann, the daughter of Jonathan and Glenda Grossmann, has felt blessed to be the queen for this year’s celebration of Orange City’s Dutch heritage.
“I cannot imagine my senior year without all of the wonderful memories and friends I have made through this opportunity,” she said. “I am constantly amazed at the kindness and generosity of our community. I have made so many lifelong friends and memories through the Tulip Court, and I can’t say enough good things about the people who work behind the scenes to make everything work.”
Other than Grossmann, all of the members of the 2016 Tulip Court attend MOC-Floyd Valley High School in Orange City.
They are Maddie Christy, the daughter of Greg and Michelle Christy; Grace De Haan, the daughter of Brent and Patti De Haan; Kelsey Lang, the daughter of Chris and Sherry Lang; and Kaylee Puttmann, the daughter of Shannon and Kristen Puttmann.
“We are all having so much fun sharing this journey together, and each girl has a heart of gold,” Grossmann said. “I feel so blessed to have these girls as my friends, and it wouldn’t be the same without them.”
Grossmann and the members of the Tulip Court have been serving as ambassadors for the Tulip Festival since the 2016 Tulip Queen Pageant in November, making several media, public appearances promoting the event as they have visited other communities.
They recently attended Pella’s Tulip Time Festival, which was held May 5-7.
“It was inspiring to see the energy, commitment, and love that Pella’s community pours into their festival,” Grossmann said. “It was our privilege as the court to celebrate our shared heritage with the Pella court and community.
“Pella’s court is so sincere and kind, and it was a pleasure to get to know them,” she continued. “The court families and others who came along to help us treated us with the utmost hospitality, and we couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful weekend. The memories that we made in Pella will last a lifetime.”
During the Orange City Tulip Festival, Grossmann and the Tulip Court’s responsibilities will include showing the Pella tulip court members around the community, visiting all of the activities, taking in the annual Night Show musical production and participating in the parades.
“I look forward to seeing the O.C. community join together, and celebrate our heritage and God’s faithfulness to our community during the Tulip Festival,” Grossmann said.
“The Tulip Festival is such a unique event that unites our community in one of the most joyful times of the year.
“I also cannot wait to see the beautiful costumes, tulips, Night Show and delicious food,” she continued. “Finally, I am so excited to welcome the Pella court and their families to our festival. They welcomed us with open arms — and lots of treats — and I can’t wait to show them our festival.”
Grossmann cannot wait to hear MOC-Floyd Valley High School’s Pride of the Dutchmen Marching Band during the Tulip Festival.
“Even though I was never a part of the band, the sound of the wooden shoes and their signature marching song always make me feel like the Tulip Festival has officially arrived,” she said. “I am pumped for the Tulip Festival, and the court and I are so thankful for all of the love and support from the community.”
At a Glance:
Name: Ava Grossmann
Position: 2016 Orange City Tulip Festival Queen
Residence: Orange City
Education: Unity Christian High School senior
Family: Parents, Jonathan and Glenda Grossmann; siblings, Matt, 22; Nick, 15; Ian, 9.
Interests: Dancing, singing, playing violin and piano, drawing, baking