With Jersey’s tourism figures on the rise for the first time in almost a decade, the tourism industry is now looking at this year’s Battle of Flowers carnival to give it a further boost.One of the highlights of Jersey’s events calendar takes place on 10th and 11th August with the tourism authority investing £145,000 in the carnival.
Street performers from Germany, France and the UK together with a large community percussion and dance events will attend the event, as well as over 30,000 spectators.
Businesses in Jersey have also been urged to support the 104-year-old Channel Island event especially after figures from the tourism board show that the number of visitors has increased for the first time in almost a decade to more than 750,000 visitors.
The Battle commences with the parade on Thursday afternoon, and finishes with the breathtaking ‘Moonlight Parade’ which forms the grand finale the following evening. The procession consists of brightly coloured floral floats, marching bands and majorettes, and entries chasing the title come from Jersey parishes, clubs, societies and families, who decorate their float with as many as 100,000 brightly coloured blooms.
At the beginning of the parade, the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey opens the Battle with a speech, before announcing: ‘Let Battle Commence!’
In past years, this signalled the start of a true floral battle, with the crowd attacking the floats with flowers, but nowadays the ‘Battle’ is a more peaceful affair, consisting of the parade of floats, judging and announcement of the winner. Tradition also states that a ‘Miss Battle of Flowers’ is elected from the local parishes, who will represent the island for the coming year.
The Battle of Flowers originated as a celebration of the Coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and has been a regular event for over 100 years, nowadays attracting over 30,000 visitors annually.
The Battle is held when Jersey is at its sunniest and the island is a hive of activity. According to locals, ‘it never rains on Battle Day’, so it’s an ideal opportunity to get involved in the island’s carnival and enjoy the sunshine.