On Sunday 19 November 2006 Amsterdam will witness the traditional festive arrival of Sinterklaas — Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of all children and of the city of Amsterdam whose Birthday is celebrated on December 5th.
This year this event will take place for the 68th time. At 11 a.m. the fleet with St Nicholas’ steamboat the “Spanje” will depart from the Nuon complex on the Amstel and sail to the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum), where it will moor around 12 a.m. There Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam, will welcome the saintly visitor.
At 12.30 Sinterklaas will then mount his grey and start his festive entry into town accompanied by around 500 zwarte pieten — his Moorish helpers –decorated floats and lively music played by brass bands and zwarte pieten bands.
From the Scheepvaartmuseum he and his followers will ride via Prins Hendrikkade and Damrak to Dam square, where a spectacular show featuring acrobats, clowns, zwarte pieten on bicycles and skateboards, animal puppets and much, much more will await him.
Around 1 p.m. Sinterklaas’ helpers will treat the three-hundred thousand spectators that are expected along the route — adults, but mostly of course children — to thousands of kilos of pepernoten (traditional Sinterklaas biscuits) and other sweets.
At 1.30 p.m. the procession will move from Dam square via Rokin and Munt (around 1.40 p.m.) to Vijzelstraat.
From there it will proceed via Vijzelgracht, Weteringcircuit and Weteringschans, ending at Leidseplein, where Sinterklaas will address the many children from the balcony of the Stadsschouwburg around 2.30 p.m.
This festive event is every year organised by the Stichting Sinterklaas Intocht Amsterdam (SIA).
More information: www.sintinamsterdam.nl.
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