The floats are an impressive feats of design and many incorporate elaborate moving parts, showing off their creators’ remarkable engineering skills. Each float is decked in thousands of colourful flowers that transition perfectly from flaming orange to ivy-hued green. These beautiful behemoths are constructed by teams of volunteers drafted from twenty different hamlets. For generations, the residents of these villages have united their efforts in order to create the most fantastic beasts and monoliths that their collective imaginations can cook up.
In the dozens, workshops spread around Zundert where people from all age groups contribute towards their village’s entry. During the summer, legions of families work side by side to reach their target and many people happily give up their spare time to help out. The older generations are often responsible for cultivating the dahlias, tending to large crops and harvesting the plants, while children help to weave the flowers onto the finished article.
Building the floats has become a communal pastime for these villagers and everyone involved adds something to the mix. Nevertheless, these jovial activities have a competitive edge and a panel of judges keeps a discerning eye on the proceedings, clocking up each float’s merits. Afterwards, they decide on the winner by handing out a gold medal to the most beautiful and well-designed entry. This year the coveted award was given to the Dutch village of Tiggelaar for their giant vapour-breathing dragon, aptly named Gevaarlijk Transport (Dangerous Transportation).