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King's Day 2014 in Amsterdam

Ketel One copper pot service onboard our vessel.
Ketel One copper pot service onboard our vessel.
Chad Chisholm

King’s Day, formerly Queen’s Day, in Amsterdam is a can’t-miss annual celebration. Taking to the waterways and streets alike, joyous crowds flood the city for the full day event. A perfect addition to the celebration is Ketel One Oranje, an appropriate color for the orange-saturated extravaganza, which is served in many of the cocktails, copper kettle services and simply on the rocks throughout the city. Party boats float through the canals with their own DJs, smoke machines and confetti as onlookers waive from the sidewalks, and the atmosphere is as vibrant and fresh as the newly-bloomed tulips of Amsterdam.

A orange parade permeates the city of Amsterdam
Chad Chisholm

Raucous spectators and jubilant attendees line the streets as we float down the canal, orange confetti sprinkles the air under clear blue skies speckled with white, fluffy clouds. The historic city floats by with momentous chapels and clocktowers alongside contemporary homes and office buildings; boats of every shape and size crowd the canals. The music from our DJ makes adjacent vessels dance and cheer, a fog machine adding to the spectacle as we enjoy Ketel One cocktails and copper pot service complimented with canapés on the water.

Passing under several bridges, some we have to duck under, the spectator-lined streets are a sea of orange. Everything from confetti to water balloons are being tossed in the air and smiles can be seen stretched on every face. On the sidewalks, Amsterdamians barter everything from clothing to coffee, even children trading toys and wares. Photo booths and karaoke stands pepper the stalls, entertainment at every turn in the city.

A buzz of orange and energy permeate the air as we walk back to our hotel; flowers bursting with color as much as the outfits in the busy city streets. Food items being hawked at every turn, the delicious smells intermingle with the calls for customers.

Back at the Andaz, Prince Canal continues a constant parade of floating parties as we return to our rooms. Exhausted by dancing all day, I look to see the jubilation continue on without me, and vow to return for another King’s Day celebration.

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