Monday, 13 August 2007

The fair has come to town

De Parade is here. Along the banks of the Amstel a simple park has been transformed into an enchanting fairytale fairground. Coloured lights are strung up between lit trees, amongst paper flags and lanterns. Ornate hand-painted pavilions and signage beautifully lit-up, it could be a movie set from 50s America.

There are all the essentials of fairground: a gorgeous vintage Ferris wheel, a crazy-swing merry-go-round, a scattering of kooky amusements.

My favourite of these would have to be the Silent Disco; picture a brightly-painted pagoda jammed with people dancing to music only they can hear on headphones. Quite ridiculous, utterly hilarious. The mini drive-in movie, a close second.

De Parade, now in it's 17th year running, is predominately a travelling fringe festival of contemporary short theatre productions and music. Though to be honest I arrived a little too late in the eve and a little too hang over to sit through either.

So instead my friends and I grabbed some food from some of the many food stalls where you can have anything from Mexican to Sushi, or of course the obligatory Dutch Herring or even make-your-own poffertjes. Making poffertjes is not as easy as it looks, believe me.

With full bellies and dreamy smiles we huddled around an open fire sipping Rosé, enjoying the festivities and atmosphere around us. A lovely mellow way to spend an evening.

De Parade: 3 - 19 August, 2007. Open Sunday - Thursday 15.00 - 01.00. Friday / Saturday 15.00 - 02.00. Where: Martin Luther King Park, Amsterdam. Public transport gets you quite close, or try the De Parade Boat with on board bar.

1 comment:

Barrington said...

Ace pictures! Annoyed I didn't drag myself ten minutes down the road to catch it now...