A Burst of Colour And Hope: Bloemencorso 2016

After a week of gorgeous, sunglasses-mandatory weather in Haarlem, we're back to "winter" temperatures. This weekend is a long weekend and this is the coldest Eerste Pinksterdag (White Sunday) since 1936. But, the trees outside are green and there are tulips on our mantle. We turned on the heat, Brian's cooking lunch in his underwear and I've got a folder of photos from Bloemencorso 2016 edited and ready to share. Spring is still here, it's just taking a little catnap.

Bloemencorso is a flower parade of truly epic proportions. The floats are made in Sassenheim (indicated at the bottom left of the map below) over the course of three days by volunteers. The parade then marches all Saturday from Sassenheim to Haarlem, ending up on the street we live on sometime around 9:30 p.m. This part of The Netherlands is the Bollenstreek (flower bulb region), where you will find those iconic tulip fields coating the farm land between towns.

 

Brian was able to catch the parade on his lunch break in Sassenheim, and we ran downstairs to watch from the street as it came to an end in Haarlem. The floats remained parked there all night and on Sunday people flock to admire them up close and enjoy a little festival atmosphere. At 5 p.m. on the dot, visitors start grabbing armfuls of flowers to bring home, dismantling these works of art in a bit of a frenzy. Anything that's not stapled down is fair game.

The theme this year was "Flowers and Fashion."

The single best use of stilts I have ever seen!

When the spring blues get me down, I'll always be reaching for these memories: still cold, still damp, but oh-so-colourful and smelling fresh, like the best is yet to come.

~ Erica