Every year since 1936, a vibrant celebration of the Netherlands’ most iconic export takes place in a town called Zundert, on the first Sunday of September. Hundreds of people come together to build 20 mind-boggling floats entirely from dahlia flowers. It’s the world’s largest flower parade, known as the Corso Zundert.
The parade is a beloved tradition in Zundert, run completely by volunteers. 20 competing hamlets (small villages) each create a float to exhibit.
The Tiggelaar hamlet won this year’s parade, with their float titled “Dangerous Transportation.”
Behind the Scenes
Everybody gets involved in the build. The older members of the hamlet are often responsible for growing and harvesting the flowers, whereas the younger members build the float in large temporary tents, provided exclusively for the event. The art of float building has been passed down from generation to generation.
Hamlets work and prepare during most of the year leading up to the event. However, they can only start to apply the flowers in the final days before the parade, to ensure they remain fresh. They sometimes even incorporate moving elements.
Builders will often work around the clock in the final days, to make sure their float is finished on time. Not only that, but Corso Zundert floats are extremely expensive to build, at around 15,000-20,000 euros each.
Their hard work and dedication, however, definitely pays off. Local bars and restaurants join in with special offers and activities. Marching bands and other performers also participate in the parade. As a result, the marvelous spectacle attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year.
You can see a full listing of all 20 parade floats here.