27th Chiang Mai Festival of Flowers was held last weekend, and the opening
ceremony on February 8 produced some of the most stunning flower
arrangements ever seen. Shown here, Chiang Mai City’s impressive float was
just one of many.
Last weekend saw the northern capital decorated with
eye-catching blooms for the 27th Chiang Mai Festival of Flowers. The opening
ceremony, on Saturday, February 8 at the western foot of the Navarat Bridge,
was officially presided over by Anurak Chureemas, the Minister of Social
Development and Human Security.
The 29 floats were beautifully decorated with flowers and
adorned with pretty young women representing the province’s districts and
private sectors. The parade floats were judged in three categories; beauty,
artistic excellence, and cultural preservation.
Thais and foreigners perform Thai traditional dance during the beauty
Suchada Wongrithikorn (center), wife of the permanent secretary of Chiang
Mai province Office, presents the reward and shield to Miss Thai Cultural
Representative Terra Mathews (left)
Samoekae Khetphasook (right), the Chiang Mai governor’s wife, presents the
winning prizes to Miss International Flower Bloom winner, Indira St Claire
future Miss Floral Beauty Contestants practicing their smiles.
Floral Beauty Queen, Thanida Chaiwong (2nd right), poses with her
Suchada Wongrithikorn, wife of the permanent secretary of Chiang Mai
provincial office (left), presents winning prizes to Miss Floral Beauty
Queen, Thanida Chaiwong
and marching bands dominated the parade.
shows whom the correct step - the horse, his horseman, or the horseman the
elderly did not want to miss this year’s flower parade.
The grand parade, witnessed by thousands of Thais and
foreign tourists, started from the bridge, moving through the western part
of the city to finish at the Nong Buak Haad public park, where flower
arrangements, landscaping exhibitions and other contests were held. In the
evening, the grand finals for the titles of Miss International Flower and
Miss Floral Beauty for the locality were held.
On Saturday evening at the park, the contests were
chaired by Chiang Mai Governor Pisit Khetphasook. 30 beauty queens were
vying for the Miss Floral Beauty title with the eventual winner being
23-year-old Miss Thanida Chaiwong, a bachelor degree graduate in the
computer field from the Rajabhat Institute of Lampang. Miss Thanida was born
in Lampang province and represented the Hang Dong local administration
The first runner up was Miss Wanida Mekpayoong, of Chiang
Mai, a graduate from Rajabhat Institute of Chiang Mai in the field of
management and representing Sanpatong District. The second runner up was
Miss Sirirat Arnond, a degree graduate from Bangkok, representing Saraphi
beauty from Hang-Dong, well protected by her sun-umbrella
as much as foreign visitors did indeed enjoy the show.
see-through umbrellas did not really protect from the sun, but who cares
when so much beauty is involved.
the best seats or stands in the house was relatively easy, as the traffic
came to a complete standstill.
Is it a
painting? Is it a collage? It was flower power, and without doubt a piece of
Tourism Authority of Thailand’s float.
flowers, checked out by the local representatives on earth.
Float from Ban Thawai, created by a local artist named Yut.
them 2 weeks to fix the dried flowers onto this float.
impresses more - the pretty young girl, the handsome men, or the beautiful
Miss International Flower Bloom saw 30 internationals
vying for the title. Miss Indira St. Claire from the USA was judged the
winner, with the runner up being Arla Patricia from Canada. Miss Terra
Matthews, also from Canada, was chosen as the Miss Thai cultural
The floral parade winner was the float from Sansai
District, which was awarded the first prize of 30,000 baht, with the first
runner up from Hang Dong District, and the 3rd from Sanpatong District.
In the artistic excellence category, the Thai Hotel
Association won the title, while Phrao District was the first runner up and
Central Airport Plaza was the second runner up.
The cultural preservation category was won by the Rajabhat Institute of
Chiang Mai Alumni Association float, while Mae Rim and Saraphi districts
were the first and second runners up respectively.
the magnificent floats, featuring the famous white elephant.
Country & Western Marching Band in full force - even disguised with war
Marching Bands ...
Monument of the Three Kings, made out of flowers.
embedded in ancient floral scenery.
and symphony - one of the numerous marching bands from different schools and
universities around town.
really Gene ‘Somsak’ Krupa, but he is working on it...
threesome ... out of a fairy tale.
were really enjoying themselves - kids from all over the North danced,
paraded, and had a great time.
culture at its best.