Pride in Chicago has an extensive history, starting as a march in June of 1970 from Washington Square Park to the Water Tower, as a means to advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights following New York City’s Stonewall Riots in 1969. This march soon turned to a parade, garnering more people in support of their efforts to create a safe environment for people within the community. The established Chicago Pride Parade was the outcome of the march, becoming bigger and bigger each year; expanding into many different forms of celebrations throughout the month of June, from fests to concerts and even picnics.
The Pride Parade in Chicago is one of the many festivities hosted to showcase and celebrate the love, culture, and people of the LGBTQIA+ community. So, if you would like to know more about what Chicago has to offer this June, take a look down below.
June 17-18: Chicago Pride Fest
The Chicago Pride Festival precedes the Pride Parade, typically held the weekend before, this year being on June 17-18. The two-day fest is held in Boystown, the first recognized gay village in America, and hosts a variety of activities from live music, drag performances, to guest speakers and competitions.
June 23-24: Pride in the Park
On June 23 and 24, Pride in the Park will be one of the biggest events, right in the heart of Chicago, Grant Park. Originally started in 2019, bringing in around 5,000 people; the event attracted more than 30,000 in 2021 – and who knows how many people will come this year! With performances by Saweetie, Zara Larsson and Zedd, dance like no one’s watching, and enjoy Pride in the Park.
June 24: Chicago Pride Crawl
Starting June 24th from 12-6 pm is the Chicago Pride Crawl in Wrigleyville, where you can enjoy a brunch buffet, giveaways, gift cards and more. This is one of the newer events, extending the same values of Pride through advocating coming together to celebrate how far Pride has evolved and LGBTQIA+ culture. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Trevor Project and local LGBTQIA+ charities, so if you’re an ally or member join in on the fun – it’s for a good cause!
June 25: Chicago Pride Parade
The Pride Parade is the highlight of Pride celebrations in Chicago. A wonderful way to end the festivities, it kicks off at noon on June 25. Since 2013, the Parade has attracted more than a million people, continuously growing and changing each year. Originally, Lakeview East was the neighborhood that the parade took place in, not stretching to the lengths it does now – a four-mile celebration starting at Broadway and Montrose, with the finale in Lincoln Park. You’ll surely be getting your steps in, but it’s worth it.
Pride is more than parties and fun – it’s about community, love, respect, and liberation. So if you decide to partake in the festivities, remember to have fun, be safe and enjoy the company.