WJI Blog Day 3, AM: The Tulip Festival

May 19, 2018

Isaiah Johnson


I was not excited for today. At all. I was assigned the political story, and I can’t stand politics. I had no idea how to pull it off and I was already feeling nervous about talking to all of these Iowans in an environment I was not familiar with. But the show must go on, as they say, and I came here to learn and get experience. When we got to the festival, the streets were pretty empty and things were just starting up. I started by meandering around, taking shots of things that looked interesting. Then, I got pulled into the Orange City Tulip Festival. As I visited different shops, I began to talk to some of the owners. I learned about how the entire town works together every year to host an event that attracts up to 100,000 people. I learned about imported Dutch meats and got to taste some pretty good food. I learned about the rivalry between Pella poffertjes makers and Orange City poffertjes makers. I even got to interview Congressman King, helping me bolster what would have been an otherwise dry story. I became very comfortable approaching people and hearing their stories. So all in all, I was able to overcome some of the obstacles in the way of my journalism career, while eating good food, making new friends, and shooting a charming neighborhood.

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