Chiang Mai Flower Festival

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Chiang Mai, Thailand, known as the "rose of the north" hosts this three-day festival in February, at the end of the cool season. On the first weekend of February, the festival begins. Displays of yellow and white chrysanthemums, and the Damask Rose, a variety found only in Chiang Mai abound. The focus of this Chiang Mai festival is at the public garden of Suan Buak Haad at the southwest corner of the moat. The road next to the moat all around the park is closed to traffic, and vendors of plants, flowers, orchids and garden decorations set up their stalls there.

Suan Buak Haad city park[edit]

Suan Buak Haad is a pleasant public space, with formal gardens arranged around a series of pools and bridges. There is a children's play area, and places where refreshments are available. For the weekend of the Flower Festival the park is transformed, with colorful displays of flowers, miniature trees, and local orchids, all set out for the judges to choose the best of each species. There are also displays by landscape specialists, featuring waterfalls, patios and various schemes of garden decoration. There are stands representing gardens from neighbouring countries, and stands selling local products.

Flower Festival parade[edit]

The Flower Festival Parade has typically started early on Saturday morning, but in 2014, the festival parade ran as an afternoon/evening affair. The flower parade lines up along Charoen Muang Road, all the way from the Nawarat Bridge to the train station. At 16:00 the parade starts and moves up Tha Phae Road to Tha Phae Gate. It then turns left and follows the moat around to Suan Buak Haad. Typically, the flower parade moves very slowly, and stops frequently. Western-style marching bands from local schools and local drumming groups are interspersed among the floats. Dancers in traditional costumes perform Thai dances, and often those taking part in the flower parade hand out flowers to the spectators.

Miss Chiang Mai Flower Festival[edit]

Many of the girls atop the gaily decorated floats and carriages are candidates for the Miss Chiang Mai Flower Festival competition. By late afternoon the really serious part of the festival, choosing the Chiang Mai Flower Festival Queen, begins. Loud rock music and liquid refreshments aid the deliberations. The party goes on into the evening until the Flower Festival Queen is chosen.

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