Our Hamilton Community Schools students were very active yet again at the annual Tulip Time Festival. Between the Hamilton High School and Middle School bands as well as Dutch Dance, the Hawkeyes were well represented.

Despite Thursday afternoon's rain during the Kinderparade, band teacher Joe Herrick says it is always something the students look forward to, especially in the middle school.

"We had a blast despite the wet weather," Herrick said. "For the middle schoolers, it is always exciting for them to do the Tulip Time parades, especially for our 7th graders who are doing it for the first time."

As for the Hamilton High School band, their experience and success over the past few years is now on full display at events like this.

"The High School Band is a group of seasoned professionals," added Herrick. "We knew they'd be great, rain or shine, and they didn't disappoint."

For Herrick himself, he has been a part of over 80 Tulip Time parades, dating back to his time being involved in a float when he was a small child and marching with the West Ottawa bands as a student.

Meanwhile, Hamilton saw a nice uptick in involvement for Dutch Dance in 2024. Now in her 28th year of instructing Dutch Dance, Cheryl Bleeker has seen it all.

"This year, we had 17 high school dancers, which is good since numbers have been down since COVID," Bleeker said. "This year, we have students that are involved in tennis, wrestlers, showing animals, cheerleading, theater, and band. It's so fun watching them come from such interests and learn the dance and perform together."

Jennifer TenPas has also been involved in Dutch Dance for decades dating back to her time as a student. The kinder/middel Dutch Dance also featured a nice turnout of Hamilton students. Well done to all!