This year’s Bloemencorso Zundert, or Zundert Flower Parade, in the Netherlands featured 19 teams which designed floats inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, who was born in Zundert 162 years ago. The massive flower sculptures honor Van Gogh, with towering floats borrowing colors, motifs, and imagery from the artist’s paintings including several interpretations of the artist’s self-portraits, make up the world’s largest flower parade.
The parade was born quite a few years after the famous Post-Impressionist painter’s birth, in 1936, when it began celebrating the region’s reputation as a global supplier of dahlia flowers. The area now covering 81 acres with 600,000 dahlia bulbs in 50 different species.
The first Corso Zundert parades were modest in size, typically featuring horse-drawn carts or bicycles covered in flowers, but the event has grown dramatically over the decades. The floats now merge more ambitious aspects of contemporary/urban art with traditional parade floats as part of the friendly annual competition.
On the event’s website, it explains, “In Zundert, in the South of the Netherlands, we are crazy about our flower parade. Our grannies and granddads started it in 1936 and we still can’t have enough of it. By the First Sunday of September the fever burns within us. Will the moving floats be finished in time? Are there enough dahlias? And who is going to win this time?”