SPALDING Flower Parade needs to be replaced with something that more accurately reflects today’s South Holland, according to one of the team behind the event’s final swansong.
Caroline Kenyon, of Kenyon Communications, which is organising the last ever flower parade in 2013, was speaking at a meeting of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce, where she told members she would still like to be involved in plans for the parade’s replacement in 2014.
And she told members she thought it would be “foolish” to allow the parade’s tourist pulling power to die with it, saying people from all over the country expect there to be a major event in Spalding on the May bank holiday weekend and something ought to be done to make the most of that expectation.
But she said she believed the flower parade had had its day as the flower industry no longer plays such a big part in South Holland.
She said: “The parade is wonderful but it is backward looking because there is no bulb industry anymore.
“The flower parade has lost its integral meaning, it’s not about Spalding now. Spalding now is about food.”
David Norton, vice-president of the Chamber and its tourism officer, suggested the way forward was combining the two, with a food festival combined with static floral “floats” located around the town.
And Sgt Stuart Brotherton said: “Speaking as a member of the public now, not as a police officer, I think the problem you have is the changing face of public demand. Years ago there was massive interest from local people in the floats, but nowadays there is a whole different audience.
“Older people probably still want to see something like the flower parade but you also need something for younger people.”