COMMENT: Enthusiasm back for an old favourite

Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian editor Jeremy Ransome
Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian editor Jeremy Ransome
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HOW pleasing it is to see some of the old enthusiasm coming back in regards to one of the jewels in Spalding’s crown – the annual flower parade.

Flower queen entries are already coming in, plenty of youngsters are putting themselves forward to be the parade prince and princess and the recent children’s competition we ran to design a float was a roaring success.

In these days of Wiis, Xboxes and PlayStations it’s hard enough getting children to read a book, let alone get their paints and pens out, so it was really gratifying to see over 30 of your youngsters vying for the honour of designing a float for the 2012 parade.

This historic event, to be held on Saturday, May 5, is an important part of our town’s heritage and means so much to many.

Originally conceived back in 1959 to celebrate the area’s thriving bulb industry, Spalding soon became the largest and most popular flower parade in the country.

And as we approach the 54th parade, there are many local families who have been involved for generations, pinning the tulip heads on the floats, stewarding, fundraising and doing other important jobs.

It is fitting that a new generation will be involved this year with the designer of the winning float and five runners-up getting to ride on the ‘children’s float’ and helping to decorate it. The theme this year is also very appropriate, as it celebrates “Food, Glorious Food”.

South Holland doesn’t just have its roots in agriculture, it is still a great provider of food for all the country, so it is great that two traditions are coming together for the showpiece event.

A few years ago the parade was in danger of folding until the combined efforts of local MP John Hayes and the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press rescued it.

Now under the stewardship of Kenyon Communications, it promises to have a brighter future again.

Kenyon have learnt from a few small teething problems last year and are ready to spearhead an excellent event in 2012.

Last year’s parade was my first and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This year I will be bringing my children along and letting them share the fun too.

Hopefully you will as well. Let’s build on 2011 and make it a wonderful day that the area can be proud of.