Chicago Pride

Chicago police to discuss safety preparations ahead of 2024 Pride Parade

The parade, in its 53rd year, serves as "the crowning event of Pride Month in Chicago." It also will see a number of changes for 2024, including a new start time, new route and smaller number of floats

Editor's Note: NBC Chicago will be streaming Sunday's Pride Parade live. Here's how to watch it.

The 2024 Chicago Pride Parade, one of the largest pride parades in the country, steps off Sunday with more than one million people expected to line the route.

The parade, in its 53rd year, serves as "the crowning event of Pride Month in Chicago." It also will see a number of changes for 2024, including a new start time, new route and smaller number of floats.

The changes were announced earlier this year when organizers said the city's Department of Transportation and Chicago police had safety and logistical concerns. At 11:30 a.m. Friday, the Chicago Police Department and other leaders will hold a press conference to discuss public safety preparations ahead of the weekend.

The parade will also bring a number of road closures to several Chicago neighborhoods. Those closures, along with restrictions in place for the NASCAR Chicago Street Race taking place July 6 and 7, could snarl travel for some as millions are expected to fly in and out of Chicago's Midway and O'Hare International Airports for the busy Fourth of July holiday.

As the weekend gets underway, here's what to know about the 2024 Pride Parade.

Here's what to know about the 2024 Pride Parade:

When and what time is the Chicago Pride Parade?

The parade, which takes place Sunday, June 30, will shift its start time from 12 p.m. to 11 a.m., and will now step off from Sheridan and Broadway, marking a new start location for the annual event.

What is the 2024 Chicago Pride Parade route?

This year's parade is set to once again travel through Chicago's landmark Lakeview neighborhood, along with the Northhalsted, Uptown and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. However, the route will be shortened by at least six to seven blocks, and start at a new location.

The 2024 route begins at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Broadway. The parade will travel from Sheridan and Broadway (3900 N. Broadway), continue south along Broadway, then Halsted, east along Belmont to Broadway, then south to Diversey.

2024 Chicago Pride Parade street closures

Nearly two dozen parking restrictions and street closures will be in effect for the parade, with many beginning overnight the Saturday before. Most street closures last through at least Sunday evening, according to organizers, with others lasting through Monday morning.

Here's a full list of the closures and parking restrictions that will be in place.

Can I cross the parade route?

Spectators can cross the parade at the following locations, according to organizers:

  • Irving Park/Broadway
  • Grace/Halsted
  • Addison/Halsted
  • Cornelia/Halsted
  • Buckingham/Halsted
  • Briar/Broadway
  • Wellington/Broadway

What is the forecast?

An early look at the forecast appears to show Sunday looking partly cloudy, with highs near 80 degrees, according to the NBC 5 Storm Team.

Who will be in this year's Pride Parade?

The grand marshal for the 2024 Chicago Pride Parade is celebrity comedian Fortune Feimster, known for her stand up as well as roles in several notable television shows and movies, including "The Mindy Project," "The L Word: Generation Q," "Office Christmas Party" and more. Feimster was named the parade's grand marshal along with her wife Jax Smith. The duo will be joined by community grand marshals Art Johnston, Jose "Pepe" Pena and Myles and Precious Brady-Davis.

Feimster and Smith will lead the 2024 procession, however.

"We are honored to be named the Grand Marshals for Chicago Pride," Feimster said in a statement. "Chicago holds a special place in our hearts—it's home to a great comedy scene and home to the best audiences. It’s also where Jax and I first met nine years ago, during Pride. As we celebrate our community and our anniversary, it feels like a beautiful full-circle moment." 

Feimster and Smith's love story began in 2015 at the Chicago Pride Parade, "just days after the Supreme Court's historic ruling for nationwide marriage equality," organizers said in their release.

"Since then, they have shared a journey of love and commitment, culminating in their marriage in October 2020," the release said.

In addition to the grand marshals, will also feature 150 entries, an increase from the 125 number the city originally gave organizers in March. 

"You’ll see celebratory floats, festively-outfitted vehicles, a variety of performance groups, a marching band, and many revelers on foot," the parade's website notes. "Parade participants will represent community organizations, businesses, governmental officials and individual community members, all gathered to commemorate the history and celebrate the legacy of the fight for LGBTQ rights."

What is the theme of this year's parade?

The theme of this year's parade is "Pride is Power," which organizers said is meant to highlight the "fundamental role the Chicago Pride Parade has played in creating visibility and advocating for effective change for the city and region’s LGBTQ+ community for five decades."

What is the best spot to watch the parade?

Organizers say the busiest section for parade viewing is on Halsted between Belmont and Addison. Anyone looking to watch at that location will want to arrive early to secure the best view.

Another notable spot is on Broadway from Belmont to Oakdale.

One place you likely won't want to watch is from the assembly area north of Sheridan, which is "closed for staging."

How to get to the Pride Parade

Parking near the parade will be limited and can get crowded so officials urge drivers to carpool or be prepared to walk.

For those looking to take public transportation, there are several CTA train stops along the route. Those include:

  • Red line: Wilson (Just north of the parade’s start point, you can walk back south and avoid the crowded stops), Sheridan (not fully accessible), Addison, Belmont (the most crowded stop!)
  • Brown line: Belmont (the most crowded stop!), Wellington, Diversey (near the parade’s end point)

But with street closures in place, it's likely that buses along the route will be rerouted for the parade and rideshare services could also be impacted by the closures and general congestion surrounding the parade.

Ride-share apps like Uber or Lyft may be an option, though keep in mind street traffic will likely be congested. Organizers suggest celebrators choose a drop-off location "several blocks from the parade route," then walk from there.

For those traveling to the parade from the suburbs, Metra is expanding service on two lines to help accommodate passengers.

Are pets allowed?

Pets are not allowed in the parade itself, but they are allowed along the route. Organizers note, however, that the route will be crowded and noisy and likely not the best environment for nervous animals.

Weather can also play a role in how safe the event will be for animals.

What about alcohol?

While there are many restaurants and bars located along the route that spectators can enjoy the festivities from, open alcohol containers outside of those establishments remain prohibited. Officials said fine of up to and possibly even higher than $1,000 are possible.

Open alcohol containers are prohibited. Police and additional security teams will be enforcing this policy and fines can be up to $1000 dollars or more.

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