News of: Friday, April 29 2005,

Preparations Queen's Day Amsterdam in full swing, city turns orange

Amsterdam is gearing up for the Queen's birthday celebrations on April 30.

All over town there are signs of the big flea market that is traditionally part of the Queen's birthday celebration. The city will be flooded by some 500,000 to 1,000,000 visitors, looking for a good buy or for a good party. 'Koninginnedag' is one of Amsterdam's biggest events.
Orange is the central colour of the day (because of the Royal House of Orange).

Everyone is allowed to sell goods without a licence, and thousands of people seize the opportunity to get rid of stuff they don't need any more. Parts of the street are already 'occupied' with tape on the streets, by people wanting to secure their own sales spot.

Besides the flea market, Queen's Day is also always a big party. Music and drinks are everywhere. This year there is however an argument between pub owners and the city, as they quarrel about the number of outside pubs that are allowed during the day. The pub owners want at least 47, the city only allows 27. A judge has already ruled that there shall be only 27.

This year is a special occassion, because on April 30 the 25 year reign of Queen Beatrix is celebrated. Part of the festivities is an open air concert on Dam Square the evening before, April 29, starting 9.30pm.

The Queen herself will not be in Amsterdam, though. Her yearly visit is this year in Den Haag (The Hague) and Scheveningen.

It promises to be a festive weekend, as the weather appears to be rather good and dry on Saturday, becoming warm and sunny on Sunday May 1.