The Flower Industry Welcomes a New Knight

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One of the Dutch traditions, the ‘Lintjesregen’ stands out on the day before King’s Day, April 26. This day, imbued with national pride, is dedicated to honoring ordinary citizens who have made extraordinary contributions to society. This year, amidst the glittering array of recipients, a particular figure from the Dutch floral industry shines brightly—celebrated for her 25 years of tireless efforts in connecting the Netherlands’ flower industry with the global market.

Understanding Lintjesregen: A Celebration of Civic Contribution

The concept of Lintjesregen, which translates to “Rain of Ribbons,” is a deeply cherished tradition in the Netherlands. On this day, mayors across municipalities ceremoniously bestow royal honors on behalf of the King, acknowledging the selfless service and achievements of the nation’s unsung heroes. The origins of this tradition date back to the early 19th century, designed to foster a sense of unity and national identity. It underscores the Dutch values of diligence, community service, and the pursuit of excellence.



This year 3,375 Dutch people received a royal decoration, of which 43 Amsterdam residents received an honorable distinction from the mayor. 22 were appointed Member, 3 Officer, and 18 were appointed Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau, including Patricia Pelaez from HPP Exhibitions.

Levels of Honors Explained

Among the various honors awarded during Lintjesregen, distinctions range from being named a Member, Knight or Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, and Knight Grand Cross. Each level signifies a deeper intensity of service and impact. However, it is the title of “Knight” that often captures the public’s imagination, resonating with historical prestige and the chivalric orders of old. Being knighted in one of the Orders of Chivalry lies in the depth of impact and the sustained commitment demonstrated. While many recipients receive honors as members or officers, being knighted implies a lifelong dedication that has profoundly shaped an industry or field.

Patricia Pelaez – The Knight of the Floral Industry

This year, an exceptional story unfolds with the recognition of Patricia Pelaez. Patricia has been a pivotal figure, spearheading initiatives that not only expanded the domestic flower market but also integrated it with global networks. Through her work and commitment in the Dutch floral industry, —a sector that has long been synonymous with Dutch heritage, she worked much on international collaborations for global trade, and fostering partnerships that bridged continents.

Patricia Pelaez after the ceremony:

“I am overwhelmed, and must say that I did not expect this to happen to me. I am super happy, especially for my parents to be able to witness this. And, of course, also to the people of HPP Exhibitions, making my life’s work, and hence this Ribbon, possible!”


Boat Tour Family Patricia Pelaez
Patricia Pelaez with her proud family


Impact and Inspiration Beyond Borders

The story of this year’s floral industry knight, Patricia Pelaez, is not just about personal achievement but also about the broader implications for the Netherlands’ economic and cultural landscape. The flower market in the Netherlands is not merely a commercial sector; it is part of the cultural identity, a spectacle of color and beauty that draws visitors from around the globe. By connecting this market to international counterparts, the honoree has not only contributed economically but has also played a crucial role in promoting Dutch cultural heritage worldwide.


Patricia Pelaez Ribbon 2024
After the ceremony, a boat tour through the canals of the Amsterdam city center was organized for family, friends, and relations.


Why Patricia Pelaez Was Knighted

HPP Exhibitions is known for organizing international trade shows for the floral and horticultural industries, which play a crucial role in global trade and networking within these sectors.

Here are some reasons why Patricia Pelaez from HPP Exhibitions was knighted:

  1. Industry Impact: Patricia has been instrumental in expanding and enhancing the exhibitions organized by HPP Exhibitions, and has significantly contributed to the growth and success of the floral and horticultural industries globally. These exhibitions often serve as critical platforms for business deals, sharing of best practices, and introduction of innovations.

  2. Economic Contributions: Trade shows like those organized by HPP Exhibitions have a substantial economic impact. They not only generate direct revenue through participation fees and sponsorships but also contribute indirectly through tourism and local business engagements during the events.

  3. Cultural Exchange and Networking: By facilitating international trade shows, Patricia has played a pivotal role in promoting cultural exchange and networking among different countries. This not only helps in business but also promotes mutual understanding and cooperation across borders.

The award ceremony, often punctuated with emotions and national pride, is a moment of reflection for the recipients and the community. It is a poignant reminder of the potential of individual contributions to effectuate substantial change and foster global connections. As the nation celebrates these achievements, the story of the knighted Patricia Pelaez serves as an inspiration, showcasing how dedication, vision, and collaboration can cultivate success that flowers beyond borders.


Patricia Pelaez In front of the City hall of Amsterdam

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