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Amsterdam Christmas Event: Xmas Canal Parade — Amsterdam has a new Christmas attraction: the Xmas Canal Parade.

You’d think someone would have thought of it before, but this will actually be Amsterdam’s first Christmas boat parade.

Amsterdam Christmas canal boat parade

Amsterdam Xmas Canal Parade
Amsterdam Xmas Canal Parade

Not only that, but the organizers say they got the idea from a similar event in, of all places, Florida.

Incidentally, they also would like people to know that their parade is not in any way connected to the annual Gay Pride canal parade

The parade will consist of at least two dozen boats, decorated in holiday themes. Salon boats, tour boats and various barges with lights, music and choirs — all against the beautiful backdrop of Amsterdam’s historic canals.

The event will take place on Christmas Eve, Friday December 24, from 20:00 (8pm) through 22:00 (10pm).

The tour will start from the IJ harbor, and the boat parade will make its way through Prinsengracht, Amstel and Oude Schans to Oosterdok (the water east of Central Station).

You’ll likely find us — the folks behind — watching the parade somewhere close to the Westerkerk, perhaps on the bridge across from the Anne Frank House.

But viewing should be good just about anywhere along the route.

There’s no telling what the weather will be like, but December is a cold month, especially at night. Dress warm, complete with hats, gloves and ear warmers.
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Update: December 26, 2009

The Xmas (that’s Christmas to those who are not afraid to acknowledge what the holiday stands for) Canal Parade was a great success, the organizers say.

There were seventien decorated boats, each with 30 to 40 passengers. Along the route lots of onlookers, most of them watching from the bridges.

The organizers intend to make the parade an annual event.

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This post was last updated: May. 18, 2011