Everybody is welcome, everybody is fine, even those who are not gay are happy.
The annual Gay Pride festival was on again this weekend. There were parties and concerts and, in keeping with the Olympic fervour, sports played in high heels.
But the highlight as ever was the Canal Boat Parade.
Eighty boats, thousands of costumes and (they say) half a million spectators. I’ve never seen the Vondelpark so empty on a Saturday afternoon. Everybody was down by the Prinsengracht.
It got off to a wet start (this is the Netherlands, remember?) but there were plenty of pink umbrellas on hand.
First along the canal were the firemen. There were no fires needing extinguishing, but they looked good anyway.
The Amsterdam Gemeente (City Council) barge.
‘Turkish, Dutch and gay’ read the banner.
The military were out in force.
Amsterdammers are very tolerant on this day – even Rotterdammers are welcome.
Boys in blue. Techno is not really my sort of music, but for an hour or so it’s fun.
Giving the drum a good beating.
It’s not easy to dance well on a moving boat…
…and a low bridge can ruin the choreography.
Some people watching from the gallery were a little above it all.
Others just opted out altogether.
It was all very Dutch and very good fun.