Chicago’s Pride Parade Steps Off Sunday

The parade will begin at noon at North Broadway and West Montrose Avenue

Chicago’s 45th Annual Pride Parade steps off Sunday afternoon on the city's North Side.

The four-mile parade, with 205 entries, begins at noon at North Broadway and West Montrose Avenue and snakes down Broadway, North Halsted Street, West Belmont Avenue and West Diversey Parkway before ending at Lincoln Park.

The parade, which weaves through the city's Boystown neighborhood, is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of revelers this year, particularly because it is the first such parade in the state since marriage equality took effect.

Chicago Police said more than one million people attended the parade last year.

Traffic restrictions and street closures will be in place along the route and congestion is expected, officials said.

Along with the parade route closures, which will begin at 7 a.m., Montrose will be affected between Clark and Broadway, Sunnyside between Broadway and Sheridan and Broadway between Montrose to Wilson.

"Parking restrictions will be strictly enforced in the area, so drivers are urged to read signage before parking," the Office of Emergency Management said in a statement.

The Chicago Transit Authority said it will increase services and trains during the event and is urging parade goers to use public transit.

The transit company said several bus routes will be impacted by the event. 

Those slated to appear in this election-year parade include Gov. Pat Quinn, who last November signed the same sex marriage bill that went into effect earlier this month, as well as Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, among several other politicians.

Will Sheridan, an openly gay former athlete, will serve as a grand marshal for the parade, which will have a theme of “Reflections of Pride.”

Police are warning parade goers that no alcohol is allowed at the event. Drinking booze on the sidewalk, the street or in an alley or park brings a fine or $1,000, according to Elias Voulgaris, the commander of the 19th police district.

No rooftop parties will be allowed along the parade route and balconies must not exceed capacity, police warned.

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