Every summer for the past twenty years (since 1998), the annual Varend Corso Westland (Boat Parade) has been held, which attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Boats are decorated with locally grown plants, flowers and vegetables from het Westland (an area of the Netherlands in the West, known for all it’s green houses) and compete for the best prize within several different categories. Their mission is to show as many people as possible what the Westland has to offer and display all of the beautiful and healthy products that are grown in the Westland greenhouses.
Then over three days, typically the first weekend of August, the boats cruise though the canals of Westland, Midden-Delfland, Delft, Rijswijk, The Hague, Vlaardingen and Maassluis; From Friday to Sunday, the boats cover a total route of about 70 km. Each year has a different theme; this year, the theme is ‘Helemaal Hollands!’
Attending this event has become a much loved family annual tradition of ours. Tonight we took our folding chairs and picnic out to Maasland and found a great little spot along the canal. Then, just as we have done the past several years, we waited in anticipation and enjoyed the boats going past in all their glory.
The people who participate in the boat parade put soooo much effort into decorating their boats. Hundreds and hundreds of vegetables and flowers are attached to their canal boats. So much time and thought goes into this each year, which is clear from my photos below.
The parade will continue over this weekend, so I hope you are able to go see them this year. For more information on the scheduled route and times, please visit the official Varend Corso website.