Massive Changes to 2012 Chicago Gay Pride Parade

Massive Changes to 2012 Chicago Gay Pride Parade

Love or hate it, the Chicago Gay Pride Parade will be a completely different event in 2012 based on a report in the Chicago Sun Times.

The past few years of the Chicago Gay Pride Parade have seen some raucous partying, and that’s all about to change – drastically!  According to the report the 2012 parade will be shorter, will have a different start point and will have a different start time.

Here are the highlights that you can look forward to:

  • An earlier start time, let’s say 10AM.  Yep, that’s right next years parade will start 2 hours earlier.
  • A different start point and route.  Now the parade will start in Uptown at Montrose/Broadway, head down Broadway to Halsted, cut across Belmont back to Broadway and then down Cannon Drive.
  • The parade will be 5 blocks longer but will reduce the number of entrants from 250 to 200 to make it a shorter duration.
  • View the new parade route

So why all the changes?  Because we can’t behave ourselves, that’s basically why.  Also, because of the large number of attendees the parade route itself was detrimental in that the “triangle” of Belmont/Halsted/Broadway was essentially closed off, so it was difficult for emergency vehicles to navigate and difficult for neighbors to get home.  I remember one year I made the mistake of getting on the East side of Halsted and was stuck there for hours with no escape.  Also, the gay community likes to party….and party….and party, so the thinking is that if the parade starts at 10AM instead of Noon and it is shorter less people will start drinking earlier and not get as drunk….because we all know that only hardcore drinkers will start partying at 10AM on a Sunday….right?

These aren’t the first changes to the parade, a few years ago the decision was made to barricade the entire route to “protect the participants” also the rules for participants were changed that they couldn’t get on/off floats during the route due to an accident that occurred and caused the parade to stop for a time.

So what do you think of these changes?  Will you still attend?  Will you party less because it’s earlier?



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  • It won't stop anything.

    People will get drunk before, sneak it in, after, whatever.

    Chicagoans are drinkers...period. You notice how many watering holes we have in the city compared to anything else? People complain about drunks in Wrigleyville, Division and Rush, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Boys Town, etc...but yet many more still only look forward to getting trashed on the weekend.

    Cest la vie.

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    It's going to be a lot harder on those going into the city.
    They will obviosuly have to get up a lot earlier -and will basically all be riding the 6am train just to get out their in time to find a spot and still barrly get their in time to find a spot.
    I just see more crankey people, and more drinking and fighting because of the earlyness.
    I really agree with making the rout longer to get more people room so that the crowds are able to spread out more.

  • In reply to Amy StuddFace:

    Hi Amy - since I posted this article there have been changes.....mainly to the start time. There was a huge kerkuffle with a church on the route that complained the early start time would interfere with their scheduled the time was pushed back to noon.

    Although I don't think that's really going to change anything because as you said, people are still going to be getting there early to find a good spot and that will STILL interfere with church services.

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