The Tulip Festival aftermath

tulipfest garbage

Apparently styrofoam coolers are in season.

Flickr user billfromesm snapped this pic of the, uh, leftovers from this year's Tulip Festival.

(Thanks, -S)

photo: Flickr user billfromesm


As if I didn't have enough reasons to strongly disklike the people Tulipfest brings to my neighborhood. That's disgusting.

yikes, it did get pretty gross toward the end of the show saturday. and the rain made it even grosser. yesterday i noticed i had some "leftovers" on my dress...needless to say, it went straight to the washing machine.

Damn! Looks like a scene after a tornado. Was this an isolated area or did all of the park end up looking like that? I can never understand how anyone can just walk away from their own crap and not even TRY to pick up after themselves.

How ironic that folks from the suburbs -- Colonie, Delmar, Latham, Saratoga -- complain about how dirty Albany is, and then the Tulip Fest crowd, largely composed of those same suburbanites, trashes the place so wastefully and disrespectfully.

Score one point for fundamental hatred of human nature. At least our local can collectors were happy, I'm sure.

Landfill expansion dilemma solved?

As much as I enjoy Tulip Fest, it really disturbs me that people leave such a mess, especially when there are so many trash receptacles around, and it is so easy to bring your own bags to dispose of your garbage. A little respect goes a LONG way. I hope it was a nice festival this year.

Agh - I showed up for the end of the 3rd Eye Blind Concert and could not believe the mess people left behind. Have fun, party, whatever, just clean up after yourselves so other people can enjoy it too.

My mother and I watched a group of jerky little hipster-wannabes actually kick over an entire garbage can and walk away, spreading trash everywhere. Seriously?!

On Saturday, while some friends and I were sitting in a backyard-area on Lark, random people kept poking their heads around the back of the Daily Grind to take an illicit leak. The look on their faces as they'd start to unzip and then see several ladies (and a few guys) staring at them with friendly grins was pretty priceless. Most of them quickly zipped up and walked away without emptying their bladders.

Trash a park for Mother's Day. Classy.

It looks really good now. Thanks to those that helped with the clean up. In all fairness, (there is no excuse for kicking over cans, etc.) keeping the cans empty was very hard. There's just A LOT of people and trash. Go to other events of this size and you'll likely see something similar. Thanks for a great TulipFest.

This was pretty much a park-wide thing, everywhere you looked there were heaps of trash. However, the one (VERY TINY) excuse for this sort of behavior was that the storm came on pretty quickly and people booked it out of the park as fast as they could.

That being said, it was a pretty poor showing by a lot of the people in attendance. If you bring it in you should bring it out.

Good. We can hold the next one at the Saratoga state park and see how that goes. Outrage to follow.

I live a block away, and with the amount of traffic to get off I-90 and home, getting stuck in Arbor Hill, and then to have to park on the sidewalk for five minutes to run in and grab something because there were THAT MANY CARS is ridiculous. I'd rather they not have it. Or, ban all the food vendors.

Aside form the folks who just weren't raised right, it doesn't help that if you were being responsible and trying to pack up your stuff in the rain you encounter the "Big Blue Equine Wall."

I went late on Sunday and it really looked good. I didn't see any piles of trash and when I went to throw out my napkins (Fried Dough requires a lot of napkins if you go for the powdered sugar) I double checked that the bin I was throwing them in was a trash can because it was so empty. This picture's scary but it isn't a complete picture of the festival.

Not surprised by this mess. It was the drunks mostly. Granted, I was one of those drunks, but we had a can-collector right next to us the whole show and simply tossed out our food trash- not hard.

You knew the crowd was out of control when the full Keystone Lights started flying.

I saw that picture and thought I was having a flashback to the Grateful Dead concert at SPAC.


I am so pissed off about Tulipfest. I spent two hours driving around in traffic trying to find a parking spot. During those two hours, I witnessed the most rude, disrespectful people. People were running stoplights, walking into intersections where I had the green and driving up sidewalks. I ended up leaving without finding a spot and very upset. I will not go there again during this festival.

I think the torrential downpour at the end of the day Saturday had a lot to do with it. I mean, it's no excuse to be a slob, but I think it would not have been *as bad* if people were not rushed out of the park by the rain. Was anyone around at the end of the day Sunday? I bet it didn't look this way.

I had a great time (and left no trash ;) and I wish Albany had more events like this.

Woa woa woa. Woa. People were throwing cans of Keystone Light?
Who would waste beer like that? Now THAT does not make sense.


@Sandor The police were physically stopping folks from cleaning up after themselves? That sounds newsworthy to me.

I usually check out the tulips in the park earlier in the week--no drunks, no crowds, no junk food and cheesy vendors. Unless there is a really great concert (Phoebe Snow last year), the event itself is just kind of trashy and hardly something to bring "Mom" to. It's too bad that a minority of people behave so badly in public (drunk, loud, stupid, and shouting profanities) as to make Tulip Fest kind of low class.

Uh, Michael?
That's sort of the dirty little secret of Tulip Fest: if you really want to get the best view of the tulips without being swarmed by the masses, come down during the preceding weekends.

Carl: "Trash a park for Mother's Day. Classy."

Somebody's mom probably had to clean it up!

And how about what happens to the bars on Lark Street afterwards. I was at Lark Tavern and some guy came and stood next to our table (in the front area) and took a piss next to the Juke Box. Disgusting. There wasn't even a line at the bathroom.
The staff did clean it up but they should NEVER have to do that!

This city-dwelling mom was brought to the Tulip Fest on Sunday and despite being a bit chilly had a nice family-friendly time. Zucchini Brothers for the tots, special-treat fair food for all and photos by the flowers.

We did see our share of disrespectful idiots but no actual peeing so I guess we got lucky.

@Bob F. - It was more of "Everybody needs to get moving, and if you are stalling (even for good intentions like picking up your trash) then we'll blow our whistles a lot and ride around the field in formation and project a sense of extreme urgency to GET OUT."

I did not see anyone being physically stopped and don't believe anything like that happens (based on numerous Tulip and Lark Fests visits where I've seen the mounted patrols clear the area.) I assume it's a higher priority to clear the area so the big vacuum trucks can come in and do the heavy cleaning.

yes, it's a mess, but to be totally fair to the park-goers, ALL of the garbage cans were completely filled. i was with a group of people and we literally bagged up our own trash and left it behind (neatly in bags) BECAUSE there were no more trash cans to put it all in. so, the lesson to be learned here will be: more tash cans and/or more frequent emptying of the cans will be needed at future events.

on a related topic, B mentioned how appalled he was by the lack of recycling receptacles in the park and around the city in general (it seems they're all being used at the Plaza).

just look at the can in this picture. i rest my case.

*they were ALL that full*

I agree that the garbage cans were full, but there was no reason for that little jerk to just come over and kick the can down. Gah. This is the kind of thing that makes me very concerned I'm going to wind up as a cranky old lady on a porch rocker with a shotgun and a salty vocabulary.

Oh that's right, Kim reminded me. Can anyone find a recycling bin in the park? Please? They're all over place in the plaza and by the capitol. I have no idea why this is so.

Well I will reiterate what a lot of people have already said; if you enjoy tulip fest but can't stand the madness, just go on Sunday. It's much more mellow.

"How ironic that folks from the suburbs -- Colonie, Delmar, Latham, Saratoga -- complain about how dirty Albany is, and then the Tulip Fest crowd, largely composed of those same suburbanites, trashes the place so wastefully and disrespectfully."

Spot on, B. The horror that is living in Center Square during these infestations of frat boys (and their overgrown, older suburbanite counterparts,) including vomit, urine, and other bodily fluids combined w/their garbage up and down the streets is one of the reasons that I left for Troy a few months ago. (Not to mention the bad parking situation made 100 times worse, especially w/the minivan contingent unloading their ill-parented offspring in the middle of a one-way street like it's the parking lot at Wal-Mart.)

/is just a *little* bitter.

I went over around 4pm on Sunday- yes, the trash cans were full, but no, there wasn't that insane mess blowing around. For as long as I've been going to Tulip Fest, the trash cans have been this way..! The real problem, as Jess pointed out, is the "little jerky hipsters" that roam around and ruin the fun for everyone.

If I saw one more 13-yr-old "gang" of boys (all wearing their shaggy hair, Hi-Tops, and little sister's pants) kick around something they weren't supposed to (empty food containers, cups, etc) I was going to demand their Mothers' phone number. I talked to vendors too, and all they talked about was how closely they had to watch "the kids" who walked around looking for an easy 5-finger discount...

I'm all for family fun, but whatever happened to parental supervision? I propose a mandatory chaperon for any kid who isn't old enough to carry an ID....

Right on, M, Kim and Jess. I walked down to try and catch Railbird at around 4:45 p.m., but left after witnessing the garbage people were carelessly throwing about, and the look-at-me drunks of all ages, especially on the young side of, say 25 (and surely much younger). The park was already a dump, and that was about 20 minutes before the rain came.

On the other hand, yes, I too saw an incredibly overfull trash barrel, with an equivalent amount of trash piled up next to it on the ground. At least some people had their hearts in the right place in placing their trash next to the full barrel. There certainly were enough inconsiderate people throwing their garbage around (and, as jess observed, pissing on the surrounding neighborhoods), but if the city can't keep up with emptying barrels, it makes a bad situation worse.

The city really ought to re-think this event. Nothing is stopping anyone from walking down on Mother's Day Sunday to enjoy the tulips -- why do you need the event surrounding it? This event can't possibly generate enough economic development to justify the drunks, the garbage and the basic lowering of human decency that the Tulip Fest has become.

How much does the city make in collecting vendor fees and the like vs. what they spend in Police and Sanitation Dept. overtime? An intrepid journalist ought to look into this.

Well, that's the sort of enterprising basic journalism we used to get out of the local papers. But with the notable exception of the TU's dogged and laudable coverage of the parking ticket scandal, we instead get "Were You Seen?"

I went early on Saturday and had a good time. Didn't see messes like that, but I also stayed away from the stage areas. The folks browsing the vendors and actually enjoying the tulips seemed pretty well behaved. Also, for folks who had parking issues, I would definitely not recommend driving. It's best if you can have someone just drop you off...if that's not feasible, consider your local bus route. I took the wasn't super convenient, and it took way longer, but I didn't have to worry about parking at all.

What? No pictures of drunks passes out besides piles of horse poo? For shame!

I've only been to one Tulip Fest, and it was actually really fun. My group stayed away from the main stage and meandered the craft vendors. I purchased one of my favorite purses of all time there. Afterward we went to Bombers for dinner and yes, someone sprayed urine all over the bathroom, but by then I was too drunk and heat tired to care. When I got back home all the clothes went into the laundry and I took a scalding hot shower. And doused with purell. I was fine.

I avoided it on Saturday. But on Sunday I actually mentioned to my boyfriend that the place was pretty clean, considering what Saturday's crowd usually consists of. I passed a lovely afternoon lying in the dog park listening to an old-timey band and drinking bear in my granny sweater. And luckily, I live within walking distance.

Maybe I saw things through Tulip-colored glasses, but I thought it was a fairly clean, respectful crowd, especially considering the sheer volume. We went early Saturday, parked on State Street, and had a delightful time looking at the vendors and walking the park. It seemed like everyone was having a nice time, though I didn't partake in any of the major shows. Oh, and I came from the suburbs to go and am certain that I didn't leave my trash behind.

Maybe it's time for some truth in advertising, or just for people to use some common sense.

If you just want to see the tulips, go on any day other than Tulip fest Saturday and Sunday. During the week in late April to early May after work is a great time.

If you want to be in the middle of a huge, sweaty, drunken mass of humanity, go to Tulip Fest on Saturday. It's basically an outdoor concert and county fair rolled into one, minus the demolition derby (Albany, are you listening? Demo derby would be a great addition), so you are going to get stupid people, drunk people, annoying people, and stupid, drunk, annoying people.

If you just want the fried dough and the opportunity to photobomb people posing in front of the tulips, go on Sunday.

If you want the stupid, annoying, drunk people without the sun and washed-up bands, hit Lark Street around 8:00 on Saturday night and skip the park altogether.

I've had good luck visiting the tulips on Friday evening. Some of the junk food vendors are already open, so no one will be deprived of their fried dough fix.

Also went early on Saturday one year. Since it's all about food for me, I appreciate the chance to have a gyro for breakfast and not have to wait in line.

As for parking, I'd imagine the best bet during busy times would be to park several blocks away (above the park or below the plaza), and walk in. An extra half mile of walking on a beautiful day never hurt anyone. It would probably be quicker and less stressful than driving around for two hours.

Tulip Fest has nothing to do with enjoying the tulips or our beautiful park. Like every other event in the city, it should just be called "Drunk A-hole Fest." I'm amazed every day at how low brow and immature people in this city are. Yeah, it's this bad in a lot of places, but I think we have more than our fair share of douche population.

Tulip Fest has outgrown Washington Park. And the City needs to do a better job of managing the event. Don't have it if you can't handle it.

I blame Jerry. We need a new mayor. Now.

This just confirms my belief that the majority of upstate NYers are not a classy bunch of people... even the ones in Saratoga County. You drive around and people keep their "homes" in horrible shape.

Okay Just moved to NY, I'll bite. Where exactly did you move here from? I'm sure its a rather exquisite place.
You should drive around some more, realize there are some beautiful places in upstate NY and Albany itself, then take a right directly into the Hudson River.

After 3 Tulip Fests, I only stopped by this one on Saturday morning. The college kids weren't there yet and neither were most families with strollers that must have been made by Hummer. It was nice.

As for the garbage, it's one thing when it's paper plates and cups from vendors, but coolers and boxes? You brought it in people, you take it out. It won't bust your ass, and I promise you, no one will mistake you for a bag lady.

people sure do love to complain. i live down the street, i was in the park and/or on the surrounding streets from 11am until night, people did not get out of hand, the garbage was to be expected and was cleaned up in a timely manner (little-known fact: trash that is cleaned up within a few hours of touching the ground is NOT considered litter, pollution, etc). and i got to pet a horse. i mean, come on, it was a perfect day.

@Michael "I spent two hours driving around in traffic trying to find a parking spot. During those two hours, I witnessed the most rude, disrespectful people. People were running stoplights, walking into intersections where I had the green and driving up sidewalks."

dude, im sorry to tell you, but that is just a typical day driving in albany. my mom refuses to drive down here - i am always put behind the wheel when she comes to town. i learned all of my best driving techniques coasting down central ave., weaving in and out of traffic at 45 mph, avoiding such obstacles as craters, women with baby strollers, double parked cars & buses, and groups of children sprinting across the street, all while racing to make it through the next green (OK, yellow) light. i can say that since living here, my reflexes have definitely improved. it's not rude or disrespectful, those are some well-honed driving skillzzz. :)


Most if not all of this trash was left by suburbanites. This is how those people behave, this is how they show their contempt for our City.

I suppose that if these suburbanites understood the concept of public space they would be more respectful of our park and of our City. But no, they're suburbanites. They never grow up. How can they?


Wow--some pretty wild generalizations and stereotypes are being thrown around here. It's news to me that suburbanites are low life scum. I have lived in the city, the suburbs, and the country in this area over the last 25 years and I can't say the nature of the human beings in each locale are better or worse.
As for "the majority" of upstate New Yorkers not being classy, that is just too stupid for words. This region supports a lot of culture, has a fairly high level of education (lots of colleges and universities), and most of the homes are reasonably well cared for. I referred to a minority of people ruining Tulip Fest. To make a gross generalization about a majority of the population of upstate New York is really ignorant and even bigoted.

You know what's pleasant? Art on Lark.

@Just moved to NY: No comment has ever incensed me so much on this site. You clearly have not driven around much at all. Our homes are in horrible shape? Sure there may be some rural folk who who may be lax on their upkeep, but our cities and neighborhoods have strict ordinances about how our buildings have to look. Have you taken a tour of Center Square? Of Pine Hills? Not to mention parts of downtown Troy and Saratoga? The stockades in Schenectady? There may be plenty of classless folk in any city. But I find that Albany citizens are generally a hip, classy bunch.

I hate it when people make mean-spirited comments with no factual basis whatsoever. What makes me even madder: hypocrisy. YOU have shown me that you are the perfect example of the very classless type you claim to despise.

Just move back OUT of NY please.

"people sure do love to complain."

You said it, Kim. The more I read AOA comments, the more I think this site is only frequented by crotchety seniors.

Ehhh, get off my lawn you no-good youngsters! How dare you have your annual event with your music and your alcohol! If I see as much as a gum wrapper in that park after Sunday night, I'll be writing my local government!

To the person who said they moved to Troy in part because of garbage and drunks in Albany.. uuhh.. as they say, 'enjoy Troy'!

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