LISSE, Netherlands: This weekend saw hundreds of thousands of visitors lining up the streets of the Duin-en Bollenstreek, the Netherlands’ famous Dune and Bulb region. It is estimated that nearly 1 million people attended the 68th Flower Parade (Bloemencorso van de Bollenstreek), which slowly travelled from Noordwijk to Haarlem on Saturday April 25th.
Under bright, sunny skies, spectators from all corners of the world enjoyed 20 giant Bollencorso Floats which had been lavishly decorated with hyacinths, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips grown in the Dutch epicentre of bulb production.
The event took off on Friday evening April 24th with some fantastic live music and an official opening ceremony by Mr Rein Willems (member of the National Committee 200 Years Kingdom of the Netherlands) and Ms Joan Leemhuis-Stout (president of the National Committee May 4 and 5). The Flower Parade’s chairman, Mr Leo van der Zon was on hand to wish all participants and visitors a very memorable 2015 Flower Parade.
This year’s theme was ‘200 Years Kingdom of the Netherlands’ and many floats played on that motif figuratively. A huge number of volunteers took part in the three-day event which paraded through the communities of Voorhout, Sassenheim, Lisse, Hillegom and Haarlem.
Keukenhof with its beautifully decorated Dutch Icons float took home the Best in Show Award, while the KAVB (Royal General Bulbgrowers Association) float featuring a floral replica of the Dutch Golden Coach was awarded the Second Prize.
On April 26th crowds flocked in their thousands to Haarlem’s Central Square to view the floats post-parade. This stunning float showcase offered visitors a unique opportunity to see the intricate floral handwork in person.