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Festival fever starting to hot up

Tulip float pinning at Springfields Event Centre, Spalding
Jean Bird  and Jackie Barnes pinning tulip heads on floats for Springfields Horticultural Society ANL-140430-135520001

Tulip float pinning at Springfields Event Centre, Spalding Jean Bird and Jackie Barnes pinning tulip heads on floats for Springfields Horticultural Society ANL-140430-135520001

Thousands of tulip heads are being hand pinned onto static floats and campsites, hotels and guest houses are reporting bookings.

You could almost believe nothing had changed for Spalding Flower Parade weekend, especially as visitors will be welcomed by last year’s flower queen Inca Honnor.

But on Saturday is the launch of a new procession to help carry on the legacy of the parade, seen for the final time last year.

This year’s Tulipmania Festival at Springfields in Spalding has been organised in response to indicators that people are still planning to visit the town on the traditional May Bank Holiday weekend in the hope something would be organised.

With the church flower festivals across South Holland in full swing and a promising weather forecast, excitement is already building.

David Norton, chief executive of Springfields Horticultural Society, and a past parade organiser said: “All our plans are going well and the weather looks as if it will be kind to us.

“The idea of this Tulipmania event is to try to maintain some links to the history and heritage of the parade.

“The trustees of the society, past and present, have all had a long association with the parade, and whilst they recognise that funding an event like the parade is no longer possible, they would like to think that the Springfields Horticultural Society charity organisation can still play its part in ensuring that the float building skills, and our tulip growing heritage, are not forgotten.

“In addition, we want to try to encourage children’s groups and all the South Holland community organisations to use the traditional parade weekend in the future to celebrate the great things that we still produce in the area, even though we don’t grow tulips anymore.

“Perhaps the May Bank Holiday weekend will become an opportunity for them to use music, art, theatre and dance to create a new festival of flowers and food”.

Bookings at local caravan sites, temporary school camping sites, hotels and B&Bs, show there is still a lot of interest from people wanting to visit Spalding this weekend to see what is happening.

Although coach bookings remain low in comparison to the 150 booked last year, there is still a chance that many will turn up on the day and a provision has been made to ensure there is plenty of coach and car parking at Springfields.

Tulip Radio will be compering the festival weekend, which includes the popular Springfields Classic Car Show on the Sunday with more than 250 vehicles.

Gan Seta, general manager at the Woodlands Hotel in Pinchbeck Road, is also hoping for a last-minute upsurge in bookings.

He said: “In past years we have been full by now. We are getting booked up for Saturday, but still have spaces on Friday and Sunday but we are hopeful word will spread.”

l For more festival details and the programme, see pages 19 and 22.

 

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