CultureThe battle for best battle is on

The battle for best battle is on

The town of Laredo (Cantabria) in northern Spain will celebrate the 110th edition of the Batalla de Flores (Battle of Flowers) on Friday, August 30 when colourful floats decorated with flowers fill Laredo with colour.

Declared a “Fiesta of National Tourist Interest”, this stunning competition between colourful floats first started in this seaside town in 1908 as a way to celebrate the end of summer. Few festivals in the world bring together art, beauty, tradition, and astonishing creations like Laredo’s Batalla de Flores.

In this century-old tradition, the float creators work for months leading up to the festival to prepare floats that can measure up to seven meters tall, eight meters long, and five meters wide.

A year of work that begins with the planting of flowers in the fields of Laredo and surrounding areas, followed by the design and construction of the floats, and finally culminating in the Noche Mágica (Magical Night) on the Thursday before the parade, when the floats are decorated with up to 200,000 fresh flowers.

Many of the floats are created petal by petal, a task that requires a high level of skill and involves the vast majority of neighbors and families in Laredo.

The Noche Mágica on Thursday, August 29, is therefore a can’t-miss event that draws in thousands of people to the workshops where the floats are made. Visitors can see how the flowers (mainly dahlias, carnations, and daisies in an extensive range of sizes and colors) are used to decorate the different floats as the night progresses.

The following day is a holiday in Laredo, complete with parades with bands, street market and, at night, an orchestra sets the soundtrack to a celebration that includes a spectacular fireworks display at midnight on the spectacular La Salvé beach.

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