Only in Amsterdam: the 20th edition of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride Canal Parade

On the 1st of August, 2015 a half of million visitors from around the world turned out for the 20th edition of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride Canal Parade. Tens of thousands of representatives of the LGBT* community and human rights activists, including Vladimir Simonko, Executive Director of the national LGBT* rights organization LGL, sailed the channels located in the city center and unanimously called for the residents of Amsterdam and its’ guests to celebrate diversity. The spectacle involved 80 boats covering a six kilometre route around the city centre.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon the Executive Director of LGL along with LGBT * rights activists from Malta, Ireland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary enthusiastically took an opportunity to join the Dutch party’s D66 boat No. 13. 200 exclusively white wearing participants took one of the largest ships of the Canal Parade and thus generated special atmosphere of the boat.

Vladimir Simonko, who attended one of the first global LGBT* Games in Amsterdam in 1998, was glad to take the opportunity to observe up close how the tradition of this unique event evolved in recent years. This year, those who wanted to take part in the Amsterdam’s Gay Pride Canal Parade competed in special contests for the best places in boats and the title of the most stylish ship.

Thanks to amazing music and youthful team the boat No. 13 gained special support and attention from the residents of Amsterdam and its’ visitors. “We felt a strong connection with the crowd which gathered to watch the parade. LGBT* community and the guests of the event had an up-close contact. The crowds which gathered on the bridges threw candy to the passengers of the boats that made the biggest impression. The passengers of the boats thanked them with smiles and cheerful mood,” recounted the leader of LGL.

Those unable to come to Amsterdam on the first Saturday of August were able to watch the 20th edition of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride Canal Parade on the national television. People from all over the world also had an opportunity to watch a live broadcast of the event on the internet. “I highly recommend everyone to take the opportunity to have a good time in traveling to Amsterdam next summer and participating in the annual Amsterdam’s Canal Parade. One may learn from the Dutch people how to celebrate society’s diversity. The atmosphere of the event is breathtaking: the unity, diversity and emotional connection of LGBT* community and the crowd generates euphoria,” assured Mr. Simonko.

At the end of the Canal Parade the passengers of the boats were warmly welcomed by the residents and visitors of Amsterdam, the rainbow-colored town. The smiling crowd then took the opportunity to attend special concerts and partied in LGBT-friendly clubs and bars until the dawn.