World famous floral festival is ready to bloom once again

A world-famous Lincolnshire flower festival, which ended a decade ago after 54 years, is set to return in 2023.

The fields around the riverside market town of Spalding were once awash with dazzling spring colours, thanks to the area being at the centre of Britain’s tulip growing industry.

It was a crop celebrated each spring for more than half a century with an internationally renowned Flower Parade, but funding and other issues meant the 2013 event became the last.

Now, the Spalding Flower Parade looks set to make a colourful return in May 2023.

Historically, Spalding had staged an annual parade of tulip-decorated floats – each one covered in up to 100,000 flower heads – since 1959.

Within a few years the colourful cavalcade of tulip decorated floats, winding its way through the town, accompanied by marching bands and entertainers, had begun to attract attention from around the globe.

In a part of the Lincolnshire Fens known as South Holland, Spalding has been at the centre of the bulb industry since the end of the nineteenth century, bringing prosperity to the town and surrounding area.

A man-made landscape, transformed from marshland by Dutch land-reclamation methods, the district’s name is a reminder of its historic Netherlands links. It was the quality of the silt soils created by the drainage schemes that proved to be ideal for growing bulbs, offering similar conditions to Holland.

In the industry’s heyday the area was home to vast fields of the springtime flower, but even though most of the tulip fields have now gone, over 200 million stems are still grown here every year in glasshouses.

While the return of the Flower Parade is set to offer something new for 2023, visitors can already enjoy a floral treat at Spalding’s Springfields Gardens, home to a landscaped tulip garden in amongst other springtime flowers, celebrating the close links to bulb growing.

Springfields Festival Gardens were first opened in 1966 as the shop window for the industry, but were completely redeveloped in 2004, and are open all year round with free admission, except during fund-raising events (

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