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Gay Pride Chicago is a huge gay event taking place each year in Illinois' largest city and includes a weekend festival and Parade on Pride Sunday. However, Gay Pride Chicago is just one part of June Pride Month in the city. Historically, in the 1970's and 1980's, Pride events were concentrated during a week called 'Pride Week' in Chicago. Then Pride Week was expanded to 'Pride Month' in order to accommodate the abundance of events. Now there’s a whole 30 days of around 100 different social, cultural and sporting events that take place in different areas of the Chicago metro area. Expect workshops, dances, picnics, plays, film screenings and more!
The Chicago Pride Parade, also called the Chicago Gay Pride Parade or PRIDE Chicago, is held on the last Sunday of June. Chicago's Pride Parade is one of the largest, by attendance, in the world with 1,000,000+ people. The first parade was organized on June 27, 1970, as a march from Washington Square to the Water Tower, but then many of the participants spontaneously marched on to the Civic Center Plaza. For many years, the parade was held only in Lake View East. Recent parades have extended the route into the Uptown neighborhood.
The weekend before the Chicago Pride Parade in Boystown, the Chicago Pride Fest starts the celebration! The annual Chicago Pride Fest is a two-day street festival held the weekend leading up to the Chicago Pride Parade, celebrating LGBTQ life, culture and community. The festival features live music by popular artists, three stages, food and drink, 100+ arts/craft and merchant vendors, DJ’s and dancing, drag shows, a pet parade, sponsor booths and more at Halsted Street and Addison in Boystown, America’s first recognized gay village.
As the Chicago Pride Parade is held on the last Sunday in June, weather for the event is usually warm and dry, so there's no excuse not to get out your finest tee, and march with pride in this lively city of Illinois. So, have you penciled in Gay Pride Chicago to calendar yet? We sure hope so!
The following is the event program for 2019. Stay tuned for the program for Chicago Pride 2020, coming soon.
This year is the 50th Gay Pride Chicago Parade. It kicks off on Sunday, June 30 at 12pm sharp. Starting at Broadway/Montrose, the march proceeds south before ending at Lincoln Park. For 2019, in honor of 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising, the Chicago Gay Pride Parade will welcome the theme of 'Millions of Moments of Pride.
To initiate your party spirits before the big day, there will be Pride in the Park on Saturday, June 29. Taking place in Grant Park from 1pm, the exciting event will welcome the likes of Iggy Azalea, Steve Aoki, and disco group Sister Sledge. Bear in mind, however, that this event is paying, so be sure to get your tickets early to avoid missing out. If you are looking for something a little more low-key, head to Pride North on the Sunday, June 30. This will transpire in Rogers Park, and include more chill entertainment across two different stages.
Along with the official Pride Parade, you can look forward to Pride Fest: a two day pride celebration, which will be taking place over the weekend of June 22-23 in the heart of the Chicago's gayborhood, Boystown. Expect plenty of entertainment including drag shows, DJs, and live performances which will illuminate three different stages. So go on, venture to Chicago Pride and experience your pride in this lively city by the water.