New Jersey’s Murphy Closes Drive-Through Tulip Farm, Threatens Owner With Arrest

It takes a lot to rile up a crowd waiting to tour a tulip farm, but the New Jersey governor has somehow managed.

“I have pretty much agreed with mostly everything the state has done so far, Neina Spatola, of Cherry Hill, N.J. posted, according to the Cherry Hill Courier-Post. “But this is ridiculous.”

Spatola responded to the report that the Glouchester County Prosecutor’s Office ordered the shutdown of a popular drive-through tulip tour due to an executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy’s office. The paper reported that the state’s order bans events of “any size.”

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The paper reported that Dalton Farm’s announcement prompted a response from 1,500 people on social media who noted that the tour was a drive-through and workers at the farm– who wore masks and gloves—were able to check tickets through the closed windows.

Another person said the tulip tour brought light to so many people in these dark times and it was a shame that the state would enforce such an order.

“Being in your car with your family is social distancing. You kept your patrons safe and did everything right,” the post read.

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The paper reported that the farm said it would refund the $20 tickets that were sold in advance.  The farm will be able to sell the flowers for a curbside pickup the report said.

Murphy, along with other state governors, has been criticized by some residents who see an uncomfortable overreach by the government over shelter-in-place orders brought on by the coronavirus. Churchgoers in Mississippi have also faced penalties for attending drive-in church services.

Casey Jansen, the farm’s owner, told Shore News that he makes about a $1 million investment each year to plant the tulips seen in the drive-through. He told the website that he received a letter from the state that threatened to arrest him if one car drove through his field.

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“How are some businesses essential and others aren’t,” another poster asked. “You can go to Home Depot or a Liquor store but not sit in your car to keep a local tulip farm in business, what next German Shepherds and tanks?”

New Jersey has reportedly seen its outbreak number increase in recent days. The state has 88,000 confirmed cases and had 4,700 deaths.

“It is slowing,” Murphy said, according to NJ.com. “We have achieved relative stability. We’re now seeing those rates slow. The number of newly hospitalized patients are on a downward trend.”

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