In the days leading up to the Merano Grape Festival, the Marlengo Apple Crown is prepared for this important annual event. Since 1984, the float has been under the ownership of local farmer and President of the Tourist Association, Alois Arquin, who continues the old tradition.
On Thursday afternoon before the big event the day after, volunteers cut and prepare the boxwood from dense bushes, decorating the surface of the vehicle in green. The baskets are already in position. The green, leafy carpet is affixed by six women, while the men procure ivy and blackberry branches, from which garlands are intertwined.
On the Friday, more than 600 kg of “Jonagold” apples are loaded into the waiting baskets, supplied by the COFRUM Apple Farmers Cooperative in Marlengo. No less than 14 kg nails are also used for the decorations.
On Saturday, it is the turn of the gardeners. The gardeners decorate the float with 700 dianthus flowers, donated by the Merano Tourism Association. All in all, getting the float ready keeps a number of people busy for at least three days. Over 5 m in length and 2.20 m wide, this remarkable float weighs 2.3 tons and is towed by four sturdy Haflinger horses.