Flowers will be blooming before you know it and the start of Farmer’s Market is just around the corner. Preparations for a once in a decade floral extravaganza are also taking place right now in the Netherlands.
From April 5th through October 7th 2012, Haarlemmermeer, in the Venlo Region of the Netherlands will be host to the World Horticulture Expo, Floriade 2012, which takes place once every 10 years in various locations throughout the Netherlands. This is a very unique opportunity to experience one of the worlds largest flower and garden displays. This year’s theme is: “Be part of the theatre in nature, get closer to the quality of life.” There are five themed worlds to explore and discover at the exhibition: Relax & Heal, Green Engine, Education & Innovation, Environment, and World Show Stage. There are also gardens and pavilions with over 100 exhibitors. There are daily cultural exhibits featuring dancing, music, theatre, and graphic art. There are five restaurants along with many food vendor stalls to satisfy your appetite while at the exhibit. They are expecting around two million visitors with average visits being around 7 hours.
There are many events taking place throughout Floriade 2012. Some of the highlighted events taking place are Floriade Kids Week from April 30th to May 6th, it promises to be filled with entertainment, music, and exploration specifically geared toward children. If you consider yourself a fashionista you may want to visit May 7th through the 13th for Floriade Fashion Week. Wine week May 17th through June 3rd will be presenting various Dutch wines every day. If you are a fan of brass and wind bands, you don’t want to miss out on the Festival of Limburgian Music, the Limburg province is famous for its brass and wind bands, from June 15th through the 17th. From June 21st through the 25th will be St. Jans: a traditional Dutch funfair, which will conclude with the St. Jans Procession and Ceremony; in honor of Saint John, on his saint day, traditionally celebrated as a village festival. From September 7th through the 16th Floriade 2012 will put on a mock Farmer’s Wedding in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the traditional Boerenbuiloft (Farmer’s Wedding) of Venlo, which is part of their Carnaval celebrations during Shrove Tuesday (“Fat Tuesday”). Of course, don’t forget to smell the roses during Week of the Rose June 20th through the 27th, there will be rose-themed demonstrations and even the presentation of a new rose variety on the 20th of June!
In each of the 5 themed worlds at Floriade 2012 there are unique experiences awaiting guests. In the Relax & Heal world guests will “taste, smell, feel, hear and see how nature influences your health, your wellbeing and your mood in tranquil surroundings”.
In the Green Engine world guests can discover all about horticulture as a major economic engine. Villa Flora, which was specifically designed and engineered as an ultra-sustainable building for Floriade 2012, is the largest indoor flower show.
In the Education & Innovation world guests will discover the importance of learning and innovating. There are some interactive exhibits that allow guests to taste unusual fruit and vegetable creations as well as cook your own meal in a laboratory.
In the Environment guests will experience how “flowers, plants, trees, vegetables and fruits in your immediate environment can improve your daily life”. This area is filled with information, an introduction to Floriade, and gardens designed by landscape architects and creative artists.
In the final world, the World Show Stage, guests can get to know other cultures and be “immersed in a colorful melting pot of art, culture, and entertainment”. Here you’ll also be able to sample world foods and feel like part of the show, not just a spectator.
Floriade 2012 also boasts the biggest cable car ride in the Netherlands, with a capacity of 4000 people an hour. It has been overwhelmingly popular to those who got a sneak peak at it’s operations this past Fall! This is a great way to experience a bird’s eye view of all Floriade has to offer! There are ticket packages that include admission and the cable ride experience, this is one of their most popular packages! You can order your tickets online , there are various packages and options to suit a variety of needs, including group ticket pricing options!
From April 5th through June 20th Floriade will be open from 10am-7pm; from June 21st through September 2nd it will be open from 10am-8pm; from September 3rd through October 7th it will be open 10am-7pm; and on select Friday and Saturdays throughout the summer the Environment and World Show Stage theme worlds will be open from 10am-11pm.
While in the Netherlands, if you have some time and a little extra money, don’t forget to explore some of its natural beauty, tourist attractions, and exciting and historic landmarks! Safe and happy travels!