Bloemencorso Zundert is the biggest event of the year for the small town of Zundert, the Netherlands, and incidentally, the largest flower parade in the world. People look forward to it for months, and in summer they spend weeks and weeks preparing for it. Huge floats are made of wire, cardboard and papier-mâché and entirely covered in dahlias in intricate designs. The dahlias for grown specifically for the parade, and thousands of them are required just to cover one float. The floats are made by twenty different hamlets and each of them consists of hundreds of builders, aged 1 to 100, who are all equally crazy about the bloemencorso. The older members of the hamlet are often responsible for planting and growing the dahlias, while the younger ones build the float in large temporary tents that are built exclusively for the event.
The event is held on the first Sunday of September, which fell on 1st day of the month this year. Twenty gigantic flower sculptures took over the town on Sunday, mesmerizing thousands of spectators, young and old. Every year, Zundert manages to brush off the old-fashioned atmosphere that comes with the word ‘flower parade’ by presenting spectacular and modern dahlia creations to its audience. From statuesque Esher-like floats, to playful designs about funfairs. In Zundert, flower floats aren’t just pretty but they contain movement, can be blown up, frozen in ice or besmirched in paint.
This year’s winning float was titled ‘Gekkengoud’ by Laer-Akkermolen, designed by Steven van Erck and Stefan van Steen. A float about the Aztec ruler that had himself gilded. The Spanish believed that whoever looked at him would slowly become mad. Oro Loco they called it, ‘maddening gold’.