Get ready for a fabulously wild weekend! The 43rd Annual Pride Fest will be celebrated this weekend, June 22 and 23 with the Pride Parade following on June 30. The two day festival will include stages of music, exhibitors, great food and drinks and, in the evening, the revelers will pour into Boystown clubs and party into the wee hours of the night.
The Pride Parade, the following Sunday on June 30, is always a highlight with local celebs and politicians included in the festivities. This year, parade entries include Chicago Public Schools, sailors from Great Lakes representing their new on-base LGBT group and close to 200 other businesses and organizations. With an expected crowd of more than 750,000, the parade will begin at a new location at Broadway and Montrose in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood and will then travel south on Broadway; then south on Halsted; then east on Belmont; then south on Broadway; then east on Diversey to Cannon Drive. The parade is organized by PRIDEChicago under the direction of parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer.
The annual Pride Celebration commemorates the rebellion of LGBT patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City's Greenwich Village in response to a routine police raid on June 27, 1969. The following year, a "Gay-In" that took place on June 27, 1970 was the early beginning of the current Pride Celebration. Since 1972, the event has been held every year, Since its modest beginnings, Chicago Pride has grown to be one the largest and most well-known Pride events in the world. According to ChicagoPride.com, the event has "come to symbolize several things: the long history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer dignity, the freedom of all people to meaningfully and proudly express their sexual and gender identities, and the commitment of LGBT people to combating oppression." Amen!
For more info about the Pride Parade and PrideFest weekend, visit ChicagoPride.com for the "ultimate 24/7/365 online guide to Chicago's vibrant LGBT community." (The 2014 Grand Marshal will be announced soon).
(I'm thrilled to be riding on the PAWS Chicago float for the 2nd year with dedicated volunteers like Bonnie Spurlock, Judy Tullman, Cheri Lawrence, Kimberly Gleeson AND, for the first time, Miss Foozie! Hope all of you pineapples out there will cheer us on! :-) (Photo by Mila Samokhina)
To see the fun from last year's BIG event, please see my Watch312.com video below!