Queen's Golden Jubilee
Town Crier Competition

Hosted by: John Webster, the Town Crier of Markham and of East Gwillimbury

(905) 472-3122     28 Parkway Avenue, Markham Ontario Canada L3P 2G1     JohnWebster@TownCryer.ca

John Karsten

John Karsten's Town Crying roots are an integral part of the Tulip Festival held each May in Holland Michigan. John says "I got my start crying on the streets of Holland, lined with 6 or 7 million tulips."

The picture is of John and Wieda Karsten in their town crier costumes. This town crier costume was worn in the 1830s in the Netherlands, and is worn in winter and summer with only a slight variation for summer. (Heavy woollen for Winter)

The Tulip Festival is opened each year with a street scrubbing parade which is announced by John Karsten ringing his bell through the streets of Holland and announcing that the Mayor of Holland has declared that the streets dirty, and they must be scrubbed. He loudly announces this in English and in Dutch. Behind him is The Governor of Michigan with his wife and triplet daughters, and about 1200 volunteer scrubbers in costumes and wooden shoes. Many floats and bands are interspersed among the scrubbers. The Tulip Festival always starts on Wednesday, and ends with a National parade on Saturday in mid May.