I expected nothing less of the Gay Pride Parade in Amsterdam than an entertaining, high-energy experience. And boy did I get that!
I would compare it to King’s Day, except that it’s more concentrated since it’s only on the Prinsengracht canal. And of course, you don’t have to wear orange for this major event.
Before it even started the police and fire departments were monitoring the canal from their boats. There was a guy in a pink tutu in an innertube in the canal. I’m not sure how the fire department knew about it, but they sped down the canal and one of the guys (already in a wet suit) jumped in the water. I’m not sure if the guy was freaked out because of how fast it all went down, but the entire area just busted out laughing. And the firefighter stayed in the water with him for a bit. The guy wasn’t supposed to be in the canal, so he probably got a brief talking to, but was left alone afterwards.
At the start of the parade (as with many regular parades) that police boat was the “pace” boat, as you might call it. And the guy with the microphone and speakers in front of us just yelled out “Sexy Police!” as they went by. They were part of the parade, but not really…yet! The whole thing really started when the guys in the JET PACKS came by. Yes. You read that correctly. Jet packs. And yes, it was super cool.
There were dozens of boats, most of which were large boats with a hundred or so people on them. Almost all of them had a theme and were quite colorful! From red and white, to all white, to all pink, to blue and white, to rainbow, it had it all. Even the city’s transportation company had a boat, the postal company, politicians, and so much more.
Lots of music and lots of dancing. It was really the vibe of the whole event that brings people to it. It’s a celebration of not only being gay, but being who you really are no matter how you show it. There were really hot guys wearing almost next to nothing. There were women in beautiful dress and wings. You would find sparkly outfits that glimmered in the sunshine, and paper confetti that was so thick it was like a blizzard!
With all of those words, I still don’t feel that it can be described adequately. It is an experience that you have to come to Amsterdam to see for yourself. Best advice I can give is to find a seat early. Make a picnic lunch, bring a blanket and find a seat on the side of a canal and don’t leave it.
Now for a few more photos that I hope will make you smile! Just imagine a dance beat behind each one.