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Date: May 01, 2008
HOFSTRA HOSTS ITS 25TH ANNUAL DUTCH FESTIVAL. SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2008; 11 a.m. TO 5 p.m., RAIN OR SHINE
Be Dutch for the Day and Celebrate, Sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit UnionHOFSTRA UNIVERSITY, HEMPSTEAD, NY ... One of Long Island’s favorite traditions, the Hofstra University Dutch Festival, will celebrate its 25th year on Sunday, May 4, 2008. The festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. Hofstra’s South Campus will feature thousands of tulips in bloom, face-painting, live music and dance entertainment, craft vendors and authentic Dutch food and beverages.
The performance schedule currently includes: the Senior Pops Orchestra of Long Island, the award-winning Dutch cabaret vocalist Frans Bloem, the Van Wickle Dutch Dancers, Bob Cantwell and the Saturday Night Stompers (dixieland jazz music), Katie's Puppets, Tiny the Clown and Wayne the Amazing Magician.
Suggested admission to the 25th annual Dutch Festival is $3 per person, and parking is free.
For more information call the Dutch Festival Hotline at (516) 463-6582. For vendor information call Vivian Passuello at (516) 463-6504. For the Festival itinerary visit www.hofstra.edu/festivals
Dutch Festival History: In a memo written on January 30, 1984, Hofstra’s then-President James M. Shuart proposed an “annual Dutch-oriented flower exhibition with programs and exhibits of Dutch culture, foods and crafts...”
More than two decades later, the Dutch Festival has evolved into one of the University’s biggest and most popular events, attracting thousands of visitors to Hofstra the first Sunday of every May, rain or shine. Every year, when the weather is cooperative, the Dutch Festival boasts tens of thousands of tulips all over the South Campus. There are also food and craft vendors and a wide assortment of children’s activities and live music and dance entertainment.
Prior to the first Hofstra Dutch Festival in May 1984, the University teamed up with Nassau County to present a two-day spring festival at Westbury Gardens in 1980. This weekend celebration also paid tribute to New York’s Dutch heritage and featured tulips in bloom and performances by the Hofstra Music Department and rifle honor guard. Another important development for the Dutch Festival was the introduction of the Hofstra University Tulip. On October 3, 1985, Dr. Cornelius Boertien, commissioner for the Queen of the Netherlands to the Province of Zeeland, formally designated and presented to Hofstra the first bulbs of this flower hybrid named for the University. It has since become a spring staple for the Hofstra Arboretum.
Many people believe that Hofstra’s first Dutch connection was William S. Hofstra, for whom the University is named. He and his wife, Kate, made their home in the building that is now Hofstra Hall, located in the center of the South Campus. Mr. Hofstra was extremely proud of his Dutch heritage, and Hofstra University has always maintained a strong connection with the Netherlands.
During the dark days of 1939, only four years after Hofstra opened for classes, the Dutch ambassador to the United States honored Hofstra by leaving his country’s flag with the college for safekeeping for the duration of World War II. Hofstra consequently modeled its school colors, the Hofstra seal, coat of arms and many other Hofstra symbols after Dutch insignia. Hofstra may be the only University in the United States that opens its graduation ceremonies with a few words in the Dutch language and where the alma mater is based upon the Dutch national anthem by 15th century Dutch composer Valerius.
The influence and contributions of the Dutch cannot be denied or diminished in New York history or Hofstra history. So it is for many reasons that Hofstra is proud to have nurtured its Dutch connection and continues to host the annual Dutch Festival.