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Annual 'Volksparade' held at Tulip Time festival

HOLLAND, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Wednesday marked the annual Volksparade at the Tulip Time Festival in Holland.

Governor Rick Snyder was on-hand, giving a keynote address at a luncheon and walking in the parade.

Heavy rain and brief thunder couldn't stop the parade from winding its way through the downtown area.

With tulips standing proudly and wooden shoes all around, the parade began with the ceremonial street sweeping.

Hundreds packed the streets, kicking off what Governor Snyder expects will be a successful tourism season.

"We're showing better results all the time on tourism in Michigan, in terms of hotel occupancy, it continues to go up, in terms of out-of-state spending and the people coming to Michigan, it's getting better and better," he said.

At the Governor's Luncheon on Wednesday, Snyder admitted the roads and bridges do need work.

"One metric that I think people should think about is if you're driving to or from or around, and you go over or under eight or more bridges, that statistically, at least one of those is structurally deficient," Snyder said.

Despite what Governor Snyder sees as an urgent need for funding statewide, Mayor Kurt Dykstra is feeling optimistic about this summer.

"We're hearing that it's gonna be a good summer," Dykstra said. "A lot of it is weather dependent, of course, and that's out of our hands, but the things we can control, we feel really good about."

Wednesday, the city also unveiled the latest Pure Michigan commercial, starring Holland.

Dykstra says downtown is ready for business.

"I think after a long winter, people want to be somewhere warm; somewhere they can get at the water, be at the beach, and I may be a bit biased, but I think we're one of the best spots to do that in the state," he said.

You likely won't see those commercials on your TV, however, as the campaign is targeted at other states, hoping to bring new visitors to Michigan.