02 October 2013

First prize at Corso Zundert, 2012

Bloemencorso Zundert is the largest flower parade in the world entirely made by volunteers. The parade takes place on the first Sunday of September. The floats are large artworks made of steel wire, cardboard, papier-mâché and flowers. In the Bloemencorso Zundert, only dahlias are used to decorate the objects and it takes thousands of them just to cover one float.

The huge floats are made by twenty different hamlets and each of them consists of hundreds of builders... A professional and independent jury decides which float is the most beautiful and which hamlet will be crowned the winner of that year.
There are more photos and videos at the festival's website, including this one -

And I found this impressive one at the Wikipedia entry:

Wow.  And unlike many parades in America, these floats don't appear to be sponsored by corporations and designed to sell products.


  1. Correct. It is entirely a volunteer organization. The volunteers even grow the flowers themselves.
    The cars can be so high because the village has not over-the-road traffic lights.

    Fun side note: Zundert is the birth place of Vincent van Gogh, although he did not spend much time there, if I remember correctly.

  2. That's impressive its entirely volunteer labor.

    But I should point out that at least at the Rose Parade in Pasadena CA, there are still a number of all volunteer floats each year, and the majority of floats are not to promote a company or its products. Companies are prohibited from having "advertising" floats which promote their products, although they can fund a float in the theme of the parade, and have their name displayed on it (to a large TV audience..) But most of the floats are from civic and public organiztaions, such as local cities (City of Industry, City of Sierra Madre, City of Anaheim, Boy Scouts, etc.) I'd guess there are just as many non-commerically financed floats in the Rose Parade as in the Dutch parade listed -- about 45-50 floats total in the Rose parade, with less than 50% commercially sponsored.

    Most of the floats at the Rose Parade are made by professional companies. But much (the vast majority?) of the flowers are put on by volunteers. For example, the local city I live in has had a couple of floats, and they call for volunteers to go up the week before the parade and put flowers on the float.

    Some of the floats are truly all volunteer at the Rose Parade. They are designed, made and decorated by all volunteer teams. These include the Burbank (city) Tournament of Roses Association, the California Polytechnic University Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University floats, the Downey (City) Rose Float Association, the Sierra Madre (city) rose float association, and several others.

    1. Thanks, Wales. I've taken note of your comments and amended the text to refer to many (generic) parades in the U.S. rather than specifying the Rose and Macy's ones.

  3. The fact that they have the maturity to select a grotesque work of art as the most beautiful delights me.


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