Tulip Time festival in Mich. could be 'stemfest'

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HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) -- The annual Tulip Time festival in West Michigan is looking like it might be more of a "stemfest" thanks to unseasonably warm weather that brought out blooming flowers earlier than usual this year.

So organizers of the 83-year-old event in Holland are embracing the otherwise troublesome presence of so many flowerless stems in the city's tulip beds. The Holland Sentinel reports they'll start selling $10 "stemfest" shirts and $1 buttons on Friday, the day before the festival opens.

The black T-shirts depict a wilting white tulip missing its petals.

The Grand Rapids Press reports a Holland business Harbor Wear is selling its own "Stem Fest" clothing.

The Holland parks department estimated Monday that about 40 percent of the 500,000 flowers planted by the city will be in bloom next week.