Well-known to most art lovers as the birth place of the legendary post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, Zundert is also famous for its Bloemencorso Zundert, or Zundert Flower Parade, tagged as the world’s largest flower procession.
Started in 1936, the parade celebrates the region’s reputation as a global supplier of dahlia flowers, an area now covering 33 hectares (81 acres) of 600,000 dahlia bulbs in fifty different species. The firstparades were modest in size featuring horse-drawn carts or bicycles covered in flowers, but the event has since grown dramatically.
The floats now converge more ambitious aspects of contemporary/urban art with traditional parade floats as part of an annual competition.
This year’s flower parade pays homage to the master painter Vincent van Gogh. The parade featured 19 teams who designed giant floats inspired by the works of Van Gogh. The floats utilize the colours, motifs and imagery from Van Gogh’s paintings including interpretations of the artist’s self portraits.Photo Credits: Joyce van Belkom
Even today the people of Zundert are very enthusiastic about this event and take great pride in the organization and participation.
“In Zundert, in the South of the Netherlands, we are crazy about our flower parade…Our grannies and granddads started it in 1936 and we still can’t have enough of it. By the first Sunday of September the fever burns within us.”
Photo Credits: Werner Pellis
Some of the questions which are constantly on the minds of the organizers and volunteers each year are: “Will the moving floats be finished in time? Are there enough dahlias?”. And of course, the biggest curiosity amongst each and everyone is “Who is going to win this time?”.
I think all these creations are ingenious and it is difficult to judge, but my favourite is the self portrait. Which one’s yours?