Pride on the canal: Huge crowds at Amsterdam’s water parade

Written by Javed Iqbal

AMSTERDAM — Hundreds of thousands of spectators lined Amsterdam’s historic canals on Saturday to celebrate the Canal Parade, a Pride flotilla of 80 brightly decorated boats packed with people celebrating, singing and waving rainbow flags, balloons and umbrellas.

The boats, representing rights groups, bars, clothing brands and even the Dutch military, slowly made their way through the waterways in a resumption of the hugely popular LGBTQ Pride event, which had been canceled for two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to a special edition where ‘being who you are and loving who you want’ is the norm and the fight for equal rights is the message,” said Amsterdam Pride director Lucien Spee de Castillo Ruiz.

Spectators packed several people deep along the Dutch capital’s canals and bridges to watch the 25th edition of the parade, the highlight of the city’s nine-day Pride event.

Earlier, Dutch police stopped a boat supporting farmers protesting the government’s climate plans to reduce nitrogen emissions from participating in the parade. Only 80 boats were allowed to participate, and they had to be registered ahead of time.

The farmer’s boat was decorated with flags that read “Proud of the farmers” and “No farmer, no food.” On board was one person in a cow costume and others wearing pink clogs and pink cowboy hats.

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Javed Iqbal

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