Netherlands celebrates King's Day without incident

King Willem-Alexander turns 50, 27 Apr 2017
King Willem-Alexander turns 50, 27 Apr 2017Photo: @silvisantiago_ / Twitter

King's Day was celebrated throughout the Netherlands without any major incidents on Thursday. The authorities in most major Dutch municipalities are pleased with how the day went. The day was celebrated "as you would like it to be", a spokesperson for Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said, reports.

The Amsterdam King's Day celebrations started out slowly due to the cold weather, but by late afternoon there "was a peak of influx", the spokesperson said. The municipality estimates that the Dutch capital hosted the same number of King's Day celebrators as last year - about 700 thousand. Dam square was quieter than usual because there was no fair.

The number of people arrested on King's Day is not yet known, but the Amsterdam police have the impression that it was slightly less than last year. There were no major incidents. Party goers slowly started leaving the capital halfway through the evening. An illegal party with a few hundred attendees was broken up in the Westelijk Havengebied on Thursday morning. According to the police, the attendees left easily and no one was arrested.

The Rotterdam police arrested five people during King's Day, according to RTV Rijnmond. Their transgressions involved things like public drunkenness and not listening to the police, a police spokesperson said to the broadcaster.

The Utrecht authorities were satisfied with how the day went. Mayor Jan van Zanen told RTV Utrecht that he looks back on King's Day with positive feelings. "There were some minor incidents, but overall it went well and calmly."

In Eindhoven the emergency services also look back on a peaceful King's Day. Some 65 thousand visitors came to festivities in the city. By 10:00 p.m. the police arrested 11 people for small fights, drug possession and insulting police officers. Ambulances were deployed 10 times. The municipality specifically mentioned that there was no case of excessive alcohol consumption by young people.

About 150 thousand people visited Tilburg, where the Royal family celebrated the King's birthday. Mayor Peter Noordanus is proud of how his city handled the day. "I invited the Royal family to celebrate here again next year", he said to Omroep Brabant. The Tilburg municipality called the festivities "cozy and without significant incident."