Police in the Netherlands have arrested 90 people protesting for and against a controversial figure called Black Pete in a traditional celebration. The arrests were made during the traditional gift-giving festival of Saint Nicholas as opponents scuffled with police in the central Dutch city of Gouda on Saturday. “Sixty people were arrested for demonstrating in unauthorized areas, and 30 for disturbing the peace," Police spokeswoman Yvette Verboon told reporters. The anti-Black Pete protesters refer to the figure as a racist stereotype remaining from the colonial era. Black Pete, who is the sidekick of the Dutch Saint Nicholas, is traditionally clothed in a colorful medieval costume with a blackened face, red lips and an afro wig. The figure’s defenders say Pete’s color is from coming down the chimney. The Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte referred to the arrests as "deeply, deeply sad." "Everyone can talk about Black Pete's color but you can't disturb a children's party like that," he added. A spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office said all of the people detained for protesting in the unauthorized locations were anti-Black Pete demonstrators and they each would face a fine of 220 euros (275 US dollars). He added that the fate of those held for disrupting the public peace "will be decided later."