Home > Events > Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade 2021 (Cancelled)

Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade 2021 (Cancelled)

Perhaps: Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade 2023?

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The Canal Pride Parade 2021 cannot take place this year. That is because it would be impossible for viewers and participants to observe the 1.5 meters (5 feet) distance rule between themselves and non-family members.

This is the second year in a row that the Canal Parade has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of the Canal Parade, there was a Pride Walk.

Local TV station AT5 report on the Pride Walk
Another video report about the August 7, 2021 Pride Walk that this year replaced the traditional Pride Canal Parade

Highlight of Amsterdam Gay Pride Week: Canal Parade 2021

On Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021 Amsterdam’s 24th Gay Pride Canal Parade will take place.

When: Saturday August 7, 2021


Time: 12:00 — 18:00 (12:00 Noon — 6:00 PM)

Where: The canals of Amsterdam

Route: Oosterdok (Maritime Museum) — Nieuwe Herengracht — Amstel — Prinsengracht — Westerdok

Cost: Free to watch along the entire route. Note: Boats moored along the route must have a paid vignette for the occasion.

Amsterdam Canal Pride Boat Parade: Biggest and Best

The Canal Parade traditionally marks the end of the Amsterdam Gay Pride Week.

The annual boat parade, which sees the canals lined by over half a million spectators, demonstrates and celebrates the diversity of Holland’s gay and lesbian community.

This is Amsterdam’s second biggest event (topped only by King’s Day).

It also is the largest gay pride event in the Netherlands, and one of the largest and best in the world.


NOTE: Everything below this line is archived information from 2019. The 2020 Canal Pride Parade was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Amsterdam gay pride canal boat parade
Gay and Lesbian employees of the City of Amsterdam — flying the flag of Amsterdam. [By the way, here’s what those crosses stand for]

The canal parade is part of Amsterdam Gay Pride week: Saturday July 27, 2019 through Saturday August 4, 2019.

The annual Canal Parade is the second most popular event in town (King’s Day being the most popular), with 80 floats and over half a million spectators. The popular parade is the highlight of a week-long of gay pride events.

Route Gay Pride Canal Parade 2019

The boat parade starts at Oosterdok (orange marker). The boats will sail through Nieuwe Herengracht to the river Amstel (past the Stopera — combination City Hall and Opera building). They will then pass underneath the iconic Skinny Bridge (get here early if you want a good viewing spot!). Next they will float down the picturesque Prinsengracht. The parade ends at Westerdok (red market).

Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade: 80 boats, half a million visitors

Fantastic atmosphere during the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade

The Amsterdam gay pride parade includes 80 decorated party boats filled party-minded gays, lesbians and friends.

In recently years many Dutch and international companies have had their own floats at the parade, proudly showing off their commitment to diversity.

The Amsterdam Police Corps, the City of Amsterdam, and — one year — even the military have entered their own boats. The Ministry of Defense has its own boat. So has the Ministry of Security and Justice.

The Canal Parade is Amsterdam’s second-largest public event — topped only by King’s Day

Political parties, Amsterdam’s public transport company GVB, several hospitals, and water authority Waternet also take part.

We’ve also seen special boats, such as one for gay and lesbian teenagers (ages 11 through 17), some of whom were accompanied by their parents.

‘Heilig Bootje’ — Little Holy Boat — carried gay- and lesbian Christians.

Amsterdam: Tolerant and Diverse

The parade — which features dancers, music and, er, ‘more’ on about 80 decorated boats — is also seen as a way in which the city of Amsterdam can officially show how tolerant and diverse it is. Amsterdam city officials have their own boat in the parade.

Parades have seen also included boats supporting specific related ’causes’ — such as the plight of homosexual and lesbian Muslims.

The Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade is billed as a ‘feast of visibility.’ It is, according to Amsterdam’s official website, “an important feast for all of the Netherlands, where tolerance towards homosexual men, lesbian women, bisexuals and transgenders appears to be under some pressure.”

The parade is the highlight of a week-long Gay Pride Festival, from Saturday July 29, through Sunday August 6, 2017. The week-long celebration includes some 160 events throughout the city.

But the highlight definitely is the canal parade.

Along the 6 kilometer (3.7 mile) route, hundreds of thousands of spectators join the party, cheering and dancing to the music — either on the bridges, alongside the canals, or in and on boats moored there.

While Holland, and Amsterdam in particular, is known for its tolerance, in recent years changes in Dutch society have been cause for concern.


Beware of Pickpockets

Up to half a million people will line the canals to watch the parade of boats. Pickpockets will be out in force as well.

Despite the presence of uniformed and undercover police, be alert. Watch your valuables.

gay canal parade in Amsterdam
The Gay Pride Canal Parade is one of Amsterdam’s most popular summer events.

The influx of Muslims, many of whom are intolerance toward all things not condoned by Islam, worries and upsets many Dutch people.

From time to time homosexual men have been attacked — usually if they find themselves walking in a quiet spot in the middle of the night. (The attackers are cowards, after all).

On the bright side, the attacks — which appear to have subsided since about the start of 2013 — have highlighted the fact that tolerance cannot be taken for granted.

Aerial view of gay pride canal parade
The Gay Pride Canal Parade route includes the Westerkerk and the Anne Frank House (to the left of the church tower). — Photo taken in 2015 from the police helicopter @DePolitieheli.

The Dutch consider an event like this to be, among other things, gezellig

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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