Spectacular tulip-decorated flower floats on the theme of British icons, marching bands music, dance and all the fun of the Parade.
For anyone who loves the beauty of flowers the Spalding Flower Parade is an occasion that should not be missed. The brilliant suffusion of color that the waiting crowd is greeted with is worth its weight in gold – or in this case, flowers.
Hours and hours of dedicated effort goes into both the designing and undertaking of creating the masterpiece floats that are then paraded along the street for everyone to enjoy. Local businesses have a perfect opportunity to advertise their services or products to an eager crowd of onlookers and potential customers. While advertising is not the only reason to enter a float the parade is also an opportunity for local businesses to show their continuing support for their community.
Beginning in 1959 there is 50 years of tradition is wrapped up in every flower, every float and every person involved. Originally named the Spalding Tulip Parade, the parade has been a yearly event with an estimated 100,000 turning out to view the wonder and splendor of the flower-festooned floats as they parade before them through the town center and along Pinchbeck Road and West Elloe Avenue. With tulips growing abundantly in a wide variety of colors there is virtually no limit to the brilliant colors of the cleverly designed floats you can see at the parade.
Spalding is known as the place for flowers bulbs in the UK and a journey through the countryside surrounding this flower town gives weight to that claim. Visitors to the area will be delighted by the sea of color greeting them as they pass by fields of growing flowers. The rich silt soil of the area lends itself exceptionally well to growing vegetables as well as flowers, but it is the blooms that people come to see.
Spalding has traditionally been known for the growing of tulips but their flower varieties have expanded considerably since the early 20th century and are not limited to the tulip today. Depending on the time of the year you can expect to see daffodils, sunflowers and gladioli as well as roses growing, to name just a few. Beautiful dahlias are another flower variety you may see on your adventures around Spalding.
While the cut flower market has decreased since the turn of the 21st Century Spalding is still managing to grow and sell many varieties. Most of their produce is sold to large supermarket chains with very little being sold locally, although a Farmers market it held every week. As a general rule many of the flowers grown in the Spalding area are economical to grow but have a good return on investment. To a certain extent the ideal soil conditions for growing make this significantly easier to achieve.
Spalding, Lincolnshire is just one of many areas around the world that celebrates the beauty of flowers with parades and festivals. The following are some of the more notable and somewhat famous parades to see if you ever have the opportunity:
This is the Dutch word for ‘flower parade’, a term that is used throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. These Dutch flower parades are a regular occurrence, with floats of amazing design and color being paraded along streets in front of appreciative crowds of people. Typically flower parades in Holland and Belgium have a theme but one thing that is certain is that you will be amazed at how creative the local people are at creating huge floats that are stunningly beautiful. While each region has their favorite flowers, regardless of what flower variety is used, it takes thousands of blooms to cover one float, but the effort is definitely worth it when the final result is revealed.
Brussels’ Carpet of Flowers
As the name suggests this is literally a carpet covering made of flowers in a wild variety of colors and blooms, that when assembled together into a set design is a stunning sight to behold. This event is only held every two years and takes considerable planning and growing of flowers to effect. The carpet of flowers is laid out in an intricate design in Brussels main square in front of the town hall. While the view from the ground level is free and worth spending time to enjoy, to benefit from the full splendor of the carpet, for a small fee you can see it from one of the upper floors of the surrounding buildings.
Rose Parade, Pasadena, CA, USA
This annual event is held on New Year’s Day in what is traditionally cooler weather. The cooler temperatures does not deter thousands of people from turning out to see the large parade of flower-adorned floats, equestrians and marching bands wend their way along the parade route. Even more people watch this favorite New Years Day event on television, as gaining access to see the parade from an advantageous viewing point can be extremely difficult. Floats are judged at the end of the parade.
Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
One of the more colorful countries of the world, Thailand’s Chiang Mai Flower Festival is a sight to behold. Flower gardens around the area are ablaze with colorful blooms including the Damask Rose which is only found in the area. Chrysanthemums are the other most notable flowers widely seen at the festival, in beautiful yellows and whites and as the floats travel slowly along roses are handed out to onlookers. The highlight of the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, aside from the parade of flower-festooned floats and dancers in brightly colored costumes, is a visit to the public garden of Suan Buak Haad, located on the south western corner of the moat.
Jersey Battle of Flowers
Held annually in the Channel island of Jersey this parade and festival has a colorful history. Originally the floats were dismantled and the participants and spectators would throw flowers at each other. Given the hours and hours of dedicated work that goes into designing and creating these magnificent floats it is good to note that the flower-throwing practice has long since been abandoned. One more unique aspect of the Jersey flower parade is that it is staged after dark, so floats are liberally decorated with lights which offers an exciting night-time event that has a fireworks display as its grand finale.
Batalla de Flores, Valencia, Spain
Unlike the Jersey Battle of Flowers the Batalla de Flores still follows the tradition of throwing flowers at each other, which just adds to the fun and festivity of this gloriously colorful occasion. Huge floats parade around the city several times before ending with the battle. Some of the women have been reported to have brought tennis racquets along to protect themselves from being pelted with flowers, but the general atmosphere and intent of the batalla de flores is to have lots of laughs and fun which this Spanish festival certainly manages very well. The battle is the closing act on a month-long festival of frivolity and community, and while it may sound like the battle is based on violence it is all in good clean fun, with soft chrysanthemum heads being the weapons of choice. Floats are judged on the first sweep around the city and on the second sweep the girls atop the floats show the prizes that they have won to the eager crowds lining the city streets.