Spalding Flower Parade goes on despite tulip shortage

Spalding Flower Parade The Spalding Flower Parade will be the final one after two local authorities said they could no longer afford it

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Organisers of the last ever Spalding Flower Festival have said the show will go on despite a large shortage of tulips caused by the cold weather.

Poor growing conditions have meant only 200 bags of tulips have been collected for the Lincolnshire festival compared to 1,020 in 2012.

Alternative materials such as foils and raffias have been used on the floats.

Saturday's parade will be the final one after two local authorities said they could no longer pay for it.

About 60 volunteers are working on the floats in the run-up to the festival.

'Big loss'

Planning manager Kathleen Codd said they have had to be clever in the way they use the tulips.

"We've managed to spread the ones out that we've got so they will be seen in a really prominent position.

"We're also using a whole load of different materials. It's really exciting being able to use all these different textures and colours."

History of the festival

  • The origins of the parade date back to the 1920's
  • In 1948 the Growers' Association organised Tulip Week - a planned 25-mile tour of the best flower fields
  • By 1950 this became Tulip Time and was held over three weekends
  • In 1959 the first ever Spalding Tulip Parade took place

Ms Codd said one of the main attractions of the parade was an 18ft (5.4m) high lion's head, which has been made with raffias and tulips.

"There's still a lot to see and there's a lot of colour and vibrancy there. I think it'll be better than last year," she said.

The event has taken place in the town since 1959.

"It would be a big loss to Spalding if there wasn't something to replace it," Ms Codd said.

"We have visitors coming from all over the world, so there are a lot of people who like to come and see it."

She said a public meeting was being held in the town on 18 May to try to either raise funds or set up an alternative event.

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