The Amsterdam Gay Pride takes place from 25 July till August 2, 2020. The highlight is the Gay Parade in Amsterdam’s canals on August 1st, 2020. Instead of wagons, the extrovert gay community put themselves proudly on display on boats that sail through the Amsterdam canals. The bridges and canals are packed with people who cheer them on from the shore and small boats.
Amsterdam Gay Pride celebrates the freedom that people can be who they want to be and love who they want to love. All week long, events are organized in Amsterdam, with talks, workshops, and performances about the freedom and rights of the LGBT community.
Gay Parade in Amsterdam Canals
On August 1st, 2020, crowds gather on the docks of the Amsterdam canals and bridges to watch the spectacular Gay Parade in Amsterdam. Around 80 heavily decorated boats sail through the canals, with loud music and entertaining themes. It’s important to book a hotel in advance.
The Canal Parade starts at 13.00 hrs at Oosterdok, near Nemo Science Museum and the Maritime Museum). Via the sluices at Nieuwe Herengracht, the parade enter the Amstel river. The boats of the gay parade then turn into the Prinsengracht canal. It follows the Prinsengracht canal all the way to the end, till Westerdok.
The official opening ceremony of Amsterdam Pride takes place at Vondelpark Open Air Theatre. Afterward, you can enjoy sports and games throughout the day, get informed at the Rainbow Market and enjoy performances. Find a program at the official website.
Gay Pride Amsterdam: how to join
Large companies enjoy the marketing advantages of the large and televised event of the Pride. So they have started to sponsor the gay parade, joining the parade on their own boats. To join in the parade, boats from organizations that serve a gay community purpose take preference. Also, these types of organizations pay €100 euros to enter, while commercial boats pay up to €4500 to join.
TIP If you want to be on one of the boats, ask a participant boat if you may join them. Or become a volunteer.
Amsterdam Gay Pride: where to go
The main parties of Amsterdam Gay Pride take place at Rembrandtplein, where a large stage is placed. The surrounding streets organize their own parties. The main gay street in Amsterdam is the Reguliersdwarsstraat. Be aware that this is a popular party and the police might close off the entrance when it gets too crowded.
Amsterdam gay areas
More gay areas in Amsterdam are the Zeedijk at the Amsterdam Red Light District, Amstel/Rembrandtplein (Dutch sing-a-long), Westerkerk/gay monument (more alternative style), Amstelveld (club style) and Paardenstraat (lesbian) and Warmoesstraat leather)
Taboos and gay protest
In Amsterdam, the canal parade tends to have a more profound meaning than just a party.
Every year boats from a ‘controversial’ background join the parade, like the Dutch military or the police. The police even wear their uniform.
History of Gay Pride
The pride march originated in the USA in the early 70s, where gays and lesbians struggled (and struggle) to be accepted because of their sexual preference. Riots at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York in 1969 are generally considered as the beginning of the gay rights movement.