The city of Amsterdam have always been liberal-minded and enlightened enough through the years, in its encouragement for providing a secure and welcome environment for lesbians and gays as a place to live in, as well as to visit. The city has a long history of tolerance towards such people, whose way of life is considered highly controversial, and as such frowned upon by many. And Amsterdammers have always been at the vanguard in encouraging equality for this different community.
The pride of Amsterdam
As a gesture to celebrate this sense of deserved pride, a mammoth celebration to express dedication towards the equality of lesbian, gay and transgender sections of the community, is to be held on July 27 through August 4, 2013, named Amsterdam Gay Pride. The event is marked by a number of happenings and parties that can enthrall all those who present. Let’s have a glimpse of the main events of the festival.
In view of the above circumstances, the event Amsterdam Gay Pride has turned out to be one of the largest and finest celebrations of its kind on earth. Customarily it is held during the first weekend of August each year, bringing together around 350,000 gay as well as straight participants to stay and enjoy in Amsterdam. At this time, wherever you go in the city you can watch the colorful events in venues that are both gay and straight, ranging from film festivals, sporting events, culture, dance parties and much more. Every year Amsterdam Gay Pride has a different theme and the theme of 2013 is “Reflect”, in an effort to encourage reflection on the launch of the unique LGBT movement as also the enduring importance of diversity.
Amsterdam Gay Pride: Events and parties
Highlights of daily happenings
July 28, Sunday: A guided tour of the Artis Royal Zoo to investigate homosexuality as practiced in the animal kingdom in general. (13:00, Artis). Unveiling of the Pride Arts and Culture Program with an exhibition of the work of Patrick Gorman (16:00, Go Gallery at Prinsengracht, 64).
July 29, Monday: The formal opening of Grey Pride (De Poort – Amsta, situated at Hugo de Grootkade, 18-28).
July 30, Tuesday: Screening of the movie ‘Twice a Women’ in Dutch (20:00 at Amsterdam Public Library, 20:00).
July 31, Wednesday: Photo shoot – NOH8 Campaign (13:00 to 16:00) at Amsterdam Museum).
Aug 1, Thursday: Movies in Dutch, Open Air Cinema (21:00 to 23:30 at Nieuwmarkt).
Aug 2, Friday: Cruise Pink (13:00, 14:00, 15:00 Museum het Grachtenhuis, at Herengracht 368. Concert
– WeAreWarriors 4 Love for PrideFund (20:00 Rembrandtplein).
Aug 3, Saturday: Canal Parade
Aug 4, Sunday: Church service – Gay Pride (12:30, Keizersgracht 566).
August 1, Thursday: Kick off of Street Party (Homomonument, free).
August 2, Friday: Olympics – Drag Queen (19:00 at the Westermarkt / Homomonument, free).
August 2, Friday: Strijders voor de Liefde – Live performance (19:00, Rembrandtplein, free).
August 3, Saturday: Club night – F*cking Pop Queers (23:30, the Paradiso, Admission €20)
August 4, Sunday: Official closing party of Amsterdam Gay Pride (14:00 to 22:00, free).
Canal Parade: Amsterdam Gay Pride
The highlight of the festival is the canal parade comprising of numerous sumptuously decorated barges. On the Saturday of August 3, participants aboard 80 barges bask in the Dutch sun and stage a gala event with onboard DJs, amazing themes and lots of fun and laughter, that brings pleasure and excitement to the innumerable spectators crowding all over the banks of Amstel River and the Prinsengracht. Lining the walls of the canals as well as the mouths of the nearby canals are the smaller boats, full of people enjoying the party, forming as it were, a mammoth flotilla of pure fun.
As is the case always, Amsterdam Gay Pride remains a gala event open to all irrespective of sex. Women are welcome to assemble at the L-Meeting Point located at Saarein, the base of LesBian Pride. Special happenings are hosted at IHLIA, Amsterdam’s, gay archive as well as library, and also on Amsterdam Public Library’s sixth floor. Although participants can be of all ages, the Gray Pride program of the festival provides performances and debates that are meant for a mature audience.