Pella was founded in 1847 by a group of about 800 Dutch immigrants who were seeking religious freedom and greater economic opportunity in the New World, and many of today's residents are descended from these original settlers. One resident quipped that the "V" section took up half the phone book because there were so many names in Pella that start with the Dutch prefix of "Van." The town's Dutch heritage is readily apparent in town by the gabled architecture of the downtown storefronts, the Dutch windmills, and (if you visit in the spring) the multitude of tulips!
One of the best times to visit Pella is during the annual Tulip Time festival, which is typically held on the first weekend of May so as to coincide with peak tulip blooming season. But Tulip Time isn't just about viewing Pella's 300,000 tulips; it's also an exuberant celebration of the town's Dutch heritage with parades, shows, music, dancing, crafts, food, and more!