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History of the Bloemencorso of the Bollenstreek

Even after more than sixty years we can say that the Bloemencorso, the Flower Parade of the  Bollenstreek, the bulb growing region, is still alive and kicking. Millions of spectators come to admire it annually. Everyone wants to embrace the first spark of spring. To study the birth of the parade one must look back to the forties. The Second World War had ended and the need for celebrations and parties was strong. The organisation of the parade was initiated. The procession was made up of no more than a couple of handcarts and vehicles decorated with flower garlands and flower bouquets. The local music corps led the parade. Children’s parades were soon created. The parades were gradually becoming grander and more colourful. The very first Flower Parade of the bulb region dates back to 1947 and it was Willem Warmenhoven, an amaryllis bulb cultivator from Hillegom, who created the very first complete float in the shape of a whale. The form was built up on a ramshackle truck and covered with hyacinths. Although the beginning was very simple, the taste for the development of the parade soon grew. Hillegom invited Sassenheim and Lisse to collaborate with them on a large scale parade and the floodgates were opened. A small parade committee was created. Since then the Flower Parade of the bulb region, the Bloemencorso of the Bollenstreek, has been making history every year. Indeed, the spring flower parade has become a phenomenon of international fame.

Corso-designers father and son van Driel (1976)Van Driel

The photo is of father and son Jos van Driel during the presentation of the float designs for the Bloemencorso of the Bollenstreek spring 1977. For no less than half a century, father and son Van Driel were responsible for the parade designs. They set the tone for this floral happening and in this way made it immortal. Below are some photo impressions of a number of floats from bygone years. Succeeding the Van Driel dynasty was Hans Warmerdam who was the parade designer in 2000 and 2001. From 2002 until 2006 the designs were created by the hand of Heleen Valstar. The parades in 2007 and 2008 were designed by JoraVision. In 2009, Margriet van Dam and Jan Guldemond took over the design task, initially with Elise Eveleens, but in 2011, just by themselves.



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