Corso Zundert, what is it?
Zundert’s flower parade is an annual explosion of dahlias. Zundert’s village districts and surrounding church villages are engaged in a severe competition every year to build the finest float to be judged by a professional and independent jury. The entire village joins in, young as well as old, man and woman, worker and manager. The tradition of the parade joins generations, sexes and social classes.
The floats are built in huge tents. These appear from early May and June, then the actual building of the floats starts. All summer long the building continues. By the end of August the floats are ready except for one important detail: the flowers. Of course, the dahlias can only be fixed on the floats at the very last moments, since they would wither if applied earlier. This is a challenging job that has to be performed within just a few days and for which hundreds of volunteers are drummed up in every village quarter. On the Saturday preceding the parade a lot of the locals work through the night to get the float finished.
The most important hours of the year in Zundert are those on every first Sunday afternoon of September. Then the flower parade goes through the streets of the village. The jury judges the floats and even during the parade – during the second passage past the huge tribunes in the centre of Zundert – the results are announced and prizes awarded.
Only the winner is allowed to stop and that inevitably results in emotional scenes of participating locals who embrace one another, crying. Being the winner of the flower parade is the ultimate joy that an inhabitant of Zundert can experience in a lifetime.
On the Monday after the parade the floats are on show for another day and the following Tuesday they are ruthlessly demolished and taken down.