Bloemencorso Zundert, the largest flower parade in the world, is back once again with its unbelievably amazing floats made from thousands of eye-popping dahlias. The annual celebration and float competition is held every year in the small Dutch town of Zundert and features twenty enormous floats, each some 65 feet long and 32 feet tall. One of the biggest sources of national pride in the Netherlands--a country famous for its flowers--the stunning flower parade showcases the best artistic and horticultural talents of Zundert. Click through to see the jaw-dropping images and find out which float was crowned the winner!
The residents of Zundert prepare for the annual flower parade months in advance, and with 20 local districts participating, competition is fierce. “The childhood dream in Zundert is not to become a famous football player, but to be a float designer,” says Paul Bastiaansen, the public relations representative for the event. “Mostly young people from Zundert itself are responsible for designing the floats, building the scale models and overseeing the construction, the details, the colouring and all other aspects of creating the huge floats.”
Bloemencorso Zundert imposes few limitations on the float designers, with the exception of size limits and mandatory use of dahlias, although use of other materials is permitted. Parade day, which took place this past Sunday, drew tens of thousands of spectators to admire floats as diverse as bright yellow crabs to the deconstructed form of a Boeing 737. A professional jury selected Horsepower–a muscular horse comically flexing its forearm–as this year’s winning float; however, the People’s Choice award went to Atlas 2.0, which depicts an Ancient Greek God as a contemporary superhero.
While the annual parade has never before operated under a theme, next year’s Bloemencorso Zundert will be an exception. In honor of the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s death next year, the 2015 Zundert Flower Parade will feature float designs inspired by the works of Van Gogh, since the famous artist was born in Zundert.
Images via Paul Bastiaansen, © Werner Pellis, Malou Evers, Erwin Martens