The organisers have been busy putting the finishing touches to preparations for this weekend’s Chiang Mai Flower Festival. The 2019 edition, and forty-third in the series, will run through from Friday 1 February to Sunday 3 February. The flower festival’s signature parade, and definitive highlight, will be staged on Saturday morning.
The parade features floats festooned with colourful blooms of flowers plus school marching bands and groups of Chiang Mai residents and dignitaries clad in traditional Lanna dress. The retinue typically starts off at around 08:00 from Chiang Mai Railway Station. From there, it heads west on Charoen Muang Road and crosses the Ping River at Nawarat Bridge. Thapae Gate and the south side of the city moat are the next ports-of-call before the parade heads up to Suan Buak Haad Park.
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The flower fest is designed to showcase the beauty of locally grown petunias, poinsettias, roses, orchids, rhododendrons and miniature trees. Horticulturalists set up shop at Suan Buak Haad for the duration of the festival. They sell many of the flowers and plants featured in the parade as well as garden-themed ornaments and tools. Beauty contests and live music performances are another integral part of the festival happenings.