Amsterdam substitutes ‘Pride Walk’ for canal parade in 25th anniversary of Gay Pride

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08/08/2021

Amsterdam capped a month of events commemorating the 25th anniversary of its first Gay Pride festival with a “Pride Walk” through the city’s historic centre on Saturday that drew around 10,000 participants carrying flags and an enormous rainbow banner. Usually one of the biggest events of the year in Amsterdam, the festival has traditionally ended with a flotilla along the city’s canals, with parties, music and dancing on the boats, quays, and in bars and people’s houses. But the canal parade was cancelled in 2020 and again this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Saturday’s Pride Walk was billed as chance for Amsterdammers to not just have a party but to actively participate and show their support for LGBT rights under threat in the Netherlands and around the world. “Times have changed, and now a lot of (gay people) don’t feel safe anymore, even in Amsterdam 70 percent don’t dare to walk holding hands,” said Siep de Haan, who launched the first boat parade in 1996.

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