Amsterdam celebrates homosexual rights with Gay Pride festival; Football icons participate

Tens of thousands of festival-goers, many dressed in pink or wearing studded leather, have flocked to Amsterdam Saturday, and rainbow flags are flying from scores of buildings in honor of one of the city's biggest parties: the annual Gay Pride celebration.

The festivities center on a colorful boat flotilla sailing through the city's ancient canals, each with its own theme, pumping out dance music.

Notable floats this year include one critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin; and a boat organized by the Netherlands' soccer association. Former soccer greats, including striker Patrick Kluivert and defender Ronald de Boer, plan to ride along, alongside national team coach Louis van Gaal.

Tolerance for homosexuality is a point of pride in this country, which became the first to legalize gay marriage back in 2001.