Amsterdam Pride parade draws thousands without incident

Amsterdam Pride parade 2019
The rainbow-themed boat from the STI team at the GGD Amsterdam health clinic during the Amsterdam Pride parade. Aug. 3, 2019photo: NL Times

Hundreds of thousands of people packed the Nieuwe Herengracht, Amstel, and Prinsengracht for the Amsterdam Pride parade on Saturday. The 24th edition of the parade, held annually since 1996, featured 80 boats and was expected to draw between half a million and a million people.

The parade went off with no major incidents reported. Including support vessels, 147 boats took part in the event. When lined up end-to-end they stretched for nearly 2,240 meters, according to the fire department.

Featured ships included a selection of people from the STI clinic at healthcare center GGD Amsterdam, the fire department, the police department, AIDS Fonds, and the City of Amsterdam. Several bars and shops targeting the LGBTQ community, like Mr. B's, were also represented.

Many large corporations also featured prominently in the parade, like Phillips, ING, and EY. Over the years, more and more multinational firms have joined the event, prompting some to accuse them of "Pinkwashing," by only showing their support for the gay community where it is safe to do so and not on countries were LGBTQ people are targeted for hate crimes or considered criminals themselves.

A protest against Pinkwashing drew several participants near the start of the parade.