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1986 - Dutch Heritage Boosters founded

A group of community-minded volunteers organize to form the Dutch Heritage Boosters to preserve Dutch customs in Orange City.

1986 - Dutch Heritage Walk and Parade of Flags

dates back to 1970, DHB assumed responsibility in 1986.

Heritage Walk

The Dutch Heritage Boosters sponsor the Dutch Heritage Walk. The Heritage Walk replicates a Dutch street market in the Netherlands where tradespeople used to travel the streets on regular routes, ambitiously offering produce, fish, household services, and more.

Parade of Flags

The Dutch Heritage Boosters also sponsor the Parade of Flags during the Tulip Festival. A parade of all 12 Dutch province flags, along with a flag of the Netherlands, kicks off the start of the Tulip Festival Parade each year.

1987 - Dutch Heritage Boosters Sponsor the first Sinterklaas Dag in Orange City

The DHB host the first Sinterklaas Dag in Orange City to honor Orange City's ties with the Netherlands. The DHB maintain some of the traditional celebrations in the Netherlands by welcoming Sinterklaas (the saint who arrives by boat from Spain and then rides a white horse from the port according to tradition) and his helper Piet at Stadscentrum. The town crier then leads everyone in a parade to the town hall, where they have traditional Dutch games and puppet shows.

1988 - Purchased Little White Store

The DHB buy The Little White Store, a building dating from 1880, which was in poor condition due to rotting joists and water leakage, in order to revive it. Before the DHB acquired the store, it was a dressmaking and millinery store, an electrical and appliance shop, and a barbershop. After extensive renovation and restoration, it is now where the DHB sell poffertjes during the summer months.

1988 - First Time Making Poffertjes in Little White Store

After acquiring an authentic poffertjes grill from Michigan in 1988, the DHB began serving poffertjes to the community out of The Little White Store duringTulip Festival.

1991 - Holiday Lights

The Dutch Heritage Boosters help sponsor the “City of White Lights” promotion by purchasing lights that line three Dutch alleyways in downtown Orange City.

1995 - Project Tree Completed

The Dutch Heritage Boosters fund and promote “Project Tree” as a town beautification project and as a way to bring Dutch customs to downtown Orange City. By the end of their project, 39 trees were planted in downtown Orange City.

1995 - Dutch Pump in Windmill Park

The Dutch Heritage Boosters gift a Dutch pump to Orange City for its 125th anniversary. The pump is located in Windmill Park and replicates the town pumps often found in the Netherlands. Before running water, many Dutch towns had town pumps in public squares, fish markets, and courtyards, which also served as a community gathering place. The Orange City pump is modeled after one in Middleburg, in the Province of Zeeland.

2004 - Donation of Windmills in Windmill Park 

The Dutch Heritage Boosters receive donations of various styles of Dutch windmill replicas from Rod Shea, who built the windmills to represent different time periods in the Netherlands. The six “molens” were built from 1996-2004 by Shea of Middleton, WI. Each windmill has a function, ranging from grinding corn to sawing timber. The windmills sit in Windmill Park and complement the canal

that runs through the park.

2010-'11 - Dutch Heritage Boosters Reconstruct the Farmer’s Market in Windmill Park

The Dutch Heritage Boosters rebuild the shelter house farmer’s market construction in Windmill Park to replicate an open market in the Netherlands with dark green and white finishes. Along with reconstruction, they added a cupola onthe roof, a replica of one found in the village of Volendam, and a rooster weathervane, a European embellishment nicknamed the “Booster Rooster.”

2012 - The Dutch Heritage Boosters Purchase the Century Home

Upon the death of Ethel Van Oosterhout, The Century Home went up for auction in October 1986. Trinity Reformed Church, which was located to the south of the property at the time, purchases the house for potential expansion and leases the home to the DHB in return for caring for it and the property. The newly-organized DHB group buys many of the original contents of the home and establishes the home as a working house museum dating from 1900-1920. When Trinity Reformed Church built a new church on the eastside of Orange City, the DHB purchases the property.

2014 - Oversized Hindeloopen Shoes

The Dutch Heritage Boosters sponsor giant wooden Dutch shoes outside The Little White Store. The shoes were painted in Dutch Hindeloopen folk style by Darlene Wallinga, a former Orange City resident.

History of the Dutch Heritage Boosters

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