Battle Of Flowers kicks off in Jersey.

Over 20,000 people are set to watch Jerseys Battle Of Flowers tonight, a tradition which begun in 1902. It started as a celebration of the Coronation of Queen Alexandra and King Edward Vll, and was such a success that it has been repeated for 110 years, only suspended during World War One and Two. In the early parades, the floats were generally horse-drawn, and the tradition was to tear a flower from the front of the float and throw it to a woman in the crowd. Flowers were often thrown back and the Battle was begun. However in 1946 the Battle aspect of the parade was dropped.

The finished floats must be covered with at least 80% of fresh flowers, and the rest must be covered with dried flower heads, like Harestails. Competitors often work for days ensuring all the flowers are cut and prepared, and then perfectly applied to the floats, which often reach 45ft in height, but preparation for the big day often begins months in advance.

Competition is fierce, with the highest award, The Prix d’Honneur de Papier, going to the float between 40 and 45ft with the highest score.

The parade is one of Jerseys biggest tourist attractions, with the Grand Day Parade taking place this afternoon, followed by a Moonlight Parade tomorrow night. Emmerdales Matthew Woolfenden (David Metcalfe) is this years Mr Jersey Battle Of Flowers, and will join Miss Jersey Battle Of Flowers 2012, Rebecca Houze, 19, who beat out 13 other ladies to the title.