(Blogmensgo, gay blog of August 12, 2016) The Canal Parade took the city of Amsterdam by storm again last Saturday, August 6, 2016. At the end of two weeks of celebration and over 300 individual events, this famous parade was also called EuroPride and mobilized almost 500,000 participants this year.
Besides the colorful boats, the main stars of the parade were Conchita Wurst and Raf Van Puymbroeck (see our article). At the beginning of this Euronews video report, you can see Conchita on one of the boats.
A total of 81 boats participated in the Canal Parade, beginning with number 0 (organizational committee of the Stichting Amsterdam Gay Pride) and ending with number 80 (WorldPride Madrid 2017). Many LGBT organizations had their own boat: Gay Waterpolo Amsterdam, Amsterdam Gay Sports, TransUnited, Fight for Freedom, Roze Mondaag (Rose Monday), Vrijheid Werkt and others.
As in previous years, the Dutch government participated with two boats, one for the Defense Ministry and the other one for the Interior Ministry. Following terrorist threats, many policemen secured the parade.
For the first time, the European Commission had a boat, too. Firstly, this was not just Amsterdam Pride but also EuroPride 2016, and secondly, this was a clear signal that member states that do not respect LGBT rights are risking sanctions.
Many companies and corporations had sponsored boats – be it to show their actual convictions or simply for PR reasons.
Conchita Wurst, winner of the European Song Contest (ESC) 2014 was on the organizers’ boat as the official ambassador of EuroPride 2016. Together with Belgian singer Kate Ryan (ESC 2006 participant) and the Spanish singer Barei (ESC 2016), Conchita sang during a big closing concert.
Once again, here is Conchita’s winning presentation during the ESC 2014:
The new Mister Gay Europe 2016, Raf Van Puymbroeck, probably almost felt like home in Amsterdam because he is Flemish and therefore speaks Dutch as his native language.
This beautiful photo report may give you a good impression of the diversity and fun of this very colorful event.