Christmas lighting in Zandvoort, seemingly linking the coastal town to the looming presence of Amsterdam, is rubbing up locals the wrong way.
‘Our traditional Christmas lights have always been three fish,’ angry local George Brouwer told broadcaster AT5. ‘Now they have used the fish to form a cross to look like Amsterdam crosses,’ he said, referring to the three Saint Andrew’s crosses that form the Amsterdam coat of arms.
‘They’re just three herrings,’ Peter Tromp of the local retailers organisation, said. Tromp, who came up with the idea for the lighting, said the crossed herrings ‘looks nothing like the Amsterdam coat of arms’.
But locals have been annoyed about what they feel is the encroaching annexation by Amsterdam. Zandvoort has been dubbed ‘Amsterdam Beach’ by the city’s marketing team and that, Brouwer said, makes locals see red. ‘We are not Amsterdam Beach. We are Zandvoort-aan-Zee or just Zandvoort,’ he said.
‘The lighting can stay, it might be difficult to replace it now and we don’t want to be petty,’ Brouwer said. ‘But I hope next year will be different.’
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