Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On the first Sunday in September, the small town of Zunder in the Netherlands, becomes a hive of activity and excitement as thousands of people from all over the globe flock there to witness an amazing event, the Corso Zundert, the annual flower parade. The planning for this long awaited event begins months before when designers from 20 surrounding areas hold top secret meetings to decide on the prospective prize winning theme of their gigantic floats. Once decided upon, the planning stages culminate in the construction of the frames of wire, cardboard and papier mache on which thousands of specially cultivated dahlias will be attached by hundreds of volunteers just three days before the actual event. Each year the floats become more spectacular and ambitious and this year was no exception. Realistic references to the world of animals, surreal cityscapes, bizarre creatures, legends and even flamingos in flight were amongst the entries. The float which caught the attention of the judges and went away with first prize was ‘Maddening Gold’ which depicted the Aztec ruler who had himself gilded in gold and the legend goes that whoever looked at him would go crazy! This fun colourful family event has been held in Zunder, incidentally the birthplace of Vincent van Gogh, since 1936 and is eagerly looked forward to every year by competitors and visitors alike.