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Think tulips, Dutch influences and read Bill Bryson's travel book "The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America" and you will get a feel for Pella. Wyatt Earp actually grew up in Pella, as his family settled on a farm near the town that sits in the Marion County of Iowa. It was in 1847 when 800 Dutch immigrants settled in the area seeking religious freedom. You may have to brush up on your "Pella Dutch" to be understood here, as the language is Dutch based on a South Guelderish dialect.
Everything Dutch is on show during the annual Tulip Festival in early May when traditional wooden shoe dancing, music, crafts and food along with the de rigueur street parade happens in town. There is a traditional Dutch summer festival held in July known as "Kermis" if you miss out on the tulips in May and throughout the summer months there is always live music pounding out downtown on Thursday evenings.
Everywhere you go in this quaint charming town you will be surrounded by Dutch architecture. You should have a gawk at the windmill in Pella's Central Park, an 1850's style windmill that stands 41m high and is the tallest working windmill in the United States. The Pella Opera House is worth the time and effort to look at for its stained-glass windows and ornate tin ceilings. The town is complete with a canal winding through the Molengracht Plaza where you can do a bit of damage on your credit card probably buying miniature Dutch windmills to gather dust at home. If you want to get into the wilds, head to Lake Red Rock, which is Iowa's largest reservoir and indulge in a bit of hiking, boating or fishing.
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