Me with famous Baton Show Lounge star, Chilli Pepper.

Grab your favorite guy, girl, both or one of each and head over to Halsted and Belmont for this Sunday's  annual Gay Pride Parade!  It starts at noon and they are expecting over 500,000 people in Boy's Town this year!  2009's slogan, as featured in Chicago's Pride logo,  is "Stonewall: 40 Years After."  This was a rebellion where gays, lesbians and transsexuals fought back at a police raid.  It's fitting then, that this year's Grand Marshall is Alexandra Billings who is a transgender woman.  She married her wife, Chrisanne Blankenship, in Chicago in the mid 1990's and also recently married her again in their home state of California.  They are leading proponents for gay marriage and are walking the walk AND the parade!  This year, there are new rules and restrictions on attending so make sure you check them out below.  The parade route starts at Halsted and Belmont:  then north on Halsted to Broadway; south on Broadway to Diversey; and ends at Diversey and Cannon Drive.  Watch for me on the Baton's float!!!  I can't wait!!!




1)      Parade spectators must stay behind barriers.

2)      Parade starts at noon so plan on arriving early

3)      Parking is limited, so walk or take public transportation

4)      Bring plenty of bottled water and sun screen--and dress lightly.

5)      Keep area clean by using trash barrels

6)      City ordinance prevents parade participants from tossing items to spectators and vice versa.  Spectators are not allowed into the street.

7)      Do not use high-powered water rifles, Super Soakers or squirt guns. 

8)      At parade end, keep out of the street until Streets and San can remove barricades.

9)      Be prepared for anything, Jennifer Roche from describes it like this:  "The parade is good bawdy fun--kind of like attending

Mardi Gras in the French Quarter, an Abba concert and a leather convention all rolled into one moving event.  Expect it.  Enjoy it!"

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