Amsterdam Gay Pride is a huge celebration of devotion towards equality for the gay, lesbian and transgender communities, held from 28 July to 5 August 2012. This year's theme is 'On the Move', so expect the parties, the Drag Queen Olympics and, of course, the world-famous canal parade to be particularly sporty this time round.
Amsterdam Pride 2012
Amsterdam's famous liberal-mindedness over the years has encouraged a welcoming and safe environment for gays, lesbians and transgenders to both visit and live in.
Amsterdam's gay rights history, from early-day tolerance to modern Mayoral celebrants has meant Amsterdam has always been at the world forefront in striving for equality for the gay community.
We are proud
As a result Amsterdam Gay Pride remains one of the best celebrations of its kind around the globe. The 2011 Respons 'Top 100' survey even reported that it is officially the biggest recurring event held in the city.
It takes place over the first weekend of August every year, drawing more than 350,000 gay and straight participants and visitors to stay and play in Amsterdam.
The city is a rainbow of events in gay and straight venues alike, from dance parties to film festivals, sporting events, culture and more. The 2012 theme 'On the Move' will pay particular attention to homophobia in sport, giving a voice to gay sports clubs and sportspeople from throughout the world. For more information on Gay Pride, visit We Are Proud.
Whatever floats your boat
The canal parade is the festival's centrepiece, where lavishly decorated barges give the term 'float' a literal meaning. On Saturday 4 August, participants on 80 vessels will soak up the Dutch sun and put on a show with their onboard DJs, ridiculous themes and plenty of smiles, pleasing all spectators on the banks of the Prinsengracht and Amstel River.
For 2012, 188 groups and organisations applied for a spot in the official parade, proving that the event is more popular then ever. It will also be the first time that a Turkish boat participates in the parade, representing the some 20,000 gays and lesbians in the Netherlands who are of Turkish descent - particularly important this year as we celebrate the 400-year-old relationship between both countries.
Meanwhile smaller boats line the canal walls and at the mouths of adjoining canals, enjoying the party by shimmying up to each other, forming a flotilla of fun.