Pride Parade 2012: Chicago Colleges + Photo Slideshow

Pride Parade 2012: Chicago Colleges + Photo Slideshow

Chicago higher education wasn't left out of the fun when 850,000 people descended on Lakeview East to enjoy the 2012 Pride Parade.

University of Illinois- Chicago (UIC), Roosevelt University, Elmhurst College, Columbia College, Northeastern Illinois University and the Harrington College of Design each had representatives walk in the parade.  UIC's alumni group also walked in the parade, and the Gender and Sexuality Center of UIC had a float with a live band.

Missing from the parade were some of the city's biggest schools: Loyola University, DePaul University, University of Chicago and Northwestern University did not have floats.  However, the crowd at Pride parade, as well as many of the marchers in the parade, seemed to be young adults, many around college age.

Outside of colleges, Pride 2012 had a festive and accepting atmosphere.  The parade marchers and floats showed a diverse cross-section of support: prominent Chicago politicians (led off by Mayor Rahm Emanuel) and aldermen were followed by glittering floats with buff dancers promoting nightclubs. Cultural groups waved their country's flag (alongside rainbow flags) while on the next block local TV and newspaper personalities waved from media floats. Though several religious groups and churches marched in the parade to show their support, protestors from the Westboro Baptist Church made their appearance: a small group stood near Belmont and Clark, but many parade-goers past by the group without much notice.

Check out photos of Chicago-area colleges in the parade, plus more here:

Did you go to the Pride parade? What was your favorite float? Was your school represented? Did you also have the sudden urge to learn to samba so you could wear those giant feather outfits next year? Let us know! Comment below or tweet us @Chicago_U.

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