Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek

Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek
Photo: bloemencorso-bollenstreek.nl
The Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek (Bloemencorso Bollenstreek) is one of the largest flower parades in the Netherlands and arguably in the world. It is held every year in late April, beginning in the town of Noordwijk and ending in the city of Haarlem.

The Duin- en Bollenstreek (“Dune and Bulb Region) is a region in the western Netherlands. It was named so because the region is famous for its coastal dunes and floriculture (the cultivation of flower bulbs). Flowers cultivated in the region include crocuses, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, dahlias, gladioli, asters and carnations. The annual flower parade coincides with the flowering of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.

The history of flower parades in the Netherlands began in the mid-1940s. After the Second World War, people needed socializing and parties to get through the hard post-war period. The first flower parade of the Duin- en Bollenstreek was held in 1947. It featured several floats decorated with flower garlands. The largest float had the shape of a whale, it was created by Willem Warhenhoven, an amaryllis grower from Hillegom. Later on Hillegom invited flower growers from Sassenheim and Lisse to create more floats for the parade.

Today’s Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is a large-scale event and one of major tourist attractions in the region. It typically begins on the Saturday after April 19 and runs for several days. Beautifully decorated floats and marching bands parade from Noordwijk aan Zee through Sassenheim, Lisse, Hillegom, Heemstede to Haarlem.

The procession departs on Saturday at around 9.30 am and arrives in Haarlem about 12 hours later. It consists of about 20 floats and over 40 special vehicles decorated with flowers and accompanied by several bands. During the next few days, the parade floats are on display for everyone to see. Thousands of people line up along the route to see the magnificent procession. Each municipality hosts a series of festive events to celebrate the annual parade and the bulb cultivation industry of the region.

The Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek is the only springtime event of this caliber as well as the only parade featuring floats decorated with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. It’s the embodiment of spring and the signature event of the Dune and Bulb Region.

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek

Photo: Wim Gevonden




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