On 5th April Her Majesty Queen Beatrix officially opened Floriade 2012. By adding a tulip to a colourful bouquet of Dutch flowers she gave the go-ahead for the six-month long World Horticultural Expo, which is this time taking place in Regio Venlo.
Her Majesty Queen Beatrix is the patroness of the Floriade, and she was the first visitor to stroll through the recently completed park.
The Floriade park comprises five different themed worlds separated by wooded areas within a total area of 66 hectares. The site boasts more than a hundred exhibits – gardens and pavilions of the participating horticultural sectors, businesses and international participants. 35 countries are represented at this edition of the Floriade, the sixth to be organised so far. During her tour of the park, the Queen visited the Japanese exhibit, the pavilion of the German Federal State North Rhine-Westphalia and the exhibit of Azerbaijan. Representatives of the countries concerned provided background information on their exhibits.
After the tour various speeches were given in the Floriade’s Congress Centre. Paul Beck, spoke of the tremendous feat that has now almost been accomplished. “As from tomorrow, the fifth of April, the gates will open to welcome thousands of visitors every day who will be able to experience first hand what we have been envisaging for years. The sketches on the drawing board have finally come to life. An exceptional moment.”
Musical star Chantal Janzen and the singer Jack Poels of the Rowwen Heze band, both of whom come from the province of Limburg, together sang the Floriade song, which was also performed during the evening’s opening show.
The park will be open to the public for six months. The envisaged 2 million visitors will make the Floriade the biggest event in the Netherlands.