4 Things You Need To Know About Chicago Pride

From drinks to drag queens, here’s all you need to be ready for Pride

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Even though Pride Month lasts all of June, it’s the last two weekends of the month when celebrations kick into high gear in Chicago. Between Chicago Pride Fest on June 18 and 19; Pride in the Park on June 25 and 26; and the all-day Pride Parade on June 26, there’s no shortage of festivities in the city. These popular events allow for Chicago natives and travelers alike to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and culture— and this guide will help you minimize difficulties and maximize fun. Stay safe and Happy Pride! 

  1. Routes, locations, & times

Chicago Pride Fest occurs in the Boystown neighborhood on Halsted Street, from Halsted & Addison to Halsted & Grace. The festivities run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 18 and 19. 

Pride in the Park is happening at Grant Park on June 25 and 26. Timing is yet to be determined by the event organizers.  

The Chicago Pride Parade begins at the intersection of Broadway & Montrose. From there, it goes south on Halsted; east on Belmont; south on Broadway; and then east on Diversey to Cannon Drive. The parade begins at noon on June 26. 

  1. Where to dine 

After walking Chicago Pride Fest’s half mile of vendors, or spending hours in the sun watching the Chicago Pride Parade pass by, you’re going to need some fuel. There are multiple restaurants along the route. For example, there’s Mexican restaurant La Mañanitas on Halsted Street, which features patio seating— you get both shade and a view of the parade! Alternatively, Duffy’s Tavern and Grille sits at the end of the route, providing cold drinks and pub-style fare after a long day of being on your feet. Many popular Chicago restaurants and bars have Pride packages during the parade, including Kit Kat Lounge and Scarlet’s Bar.

  1. Alcohol & afterparties 

Public consumption of alcohol is not permitted in Chicago— and doing so could result in a hefty fine and/or your open container being thrown out. Instead of taking that risk, you can stop at any number of bars along the Parade route. Chicago Pride Fest boasts a number of vendors, including Bud Light Seltzer and Cutwater Spirits, so you may be able to purchase a drink during your time there. As for afterparties, Chicago locals recommended a number of bars and clubs, including Hydrate Nightclub, Atmosphere, and Little Jim’s. One thing you can be sure of is that no matter where you go after the festivities, there will always be people celebrating and partying!

  1. The who’s-who of performers

The Chainsmokers and Alesso are set to headline Pride in the Park, with The Chainsmokers performing on June 25th along with Rebecca Black, Spencer Brown, and many more artists.

Alesso, meanwhile, is the centerpiece of the Sunday show, performing amid artists such as Daya, Saucy Santana, and J. Worra. Meanwhile, Chicago Pride Fest on June 18 and 19 boasts performances from iconic queer musicians and drag queens such as CupcakKe, Alaska Thunderf*ck, Dorian Electra, and Netta.

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