Parades, Fests and More: Everything to Know About Pride in Chicago for 2019

Planning to attend the Chicago Pride Parade on June 30? Here's what you need to know.

From a new downtown festival to a colorful parade and more, thousands are preparing to celebrate Pride and recognize 50 years since Stonewall. 

Planning to join in the festivities? Here's what you need to know.

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Pride events happening this month: 

  • Pride Fest: This annual festival takes place the weekend before the Pride Parade in the city's Boystown neighborhood. The event takes place near Halsted Street and Addison in what is known as America's first recognized gay village. 
  • Chicago Is a Drag Festival: Dubbed the city's first outdoor drag festival, Chicago is a Draft Festival will take place from 4-11 p.m. on June 28 in the Cheetah Gym Parking Lot in the Andersonville neighborhood. The 21 and older event will be held in conjunction with the annual Back Lot Bash and will feature special performances by famous drag queens from "RuPaul's Drag Race."
  • Pride in the Park: Marking the first pride event of its kind in downtown Chicago, Pride in the Park will bring major acts like Iggy Azalea and Steve Aoiki to the city the day before the annual parade. The event takes place June 29 in Grant Park. 
  • Navy Pier Pride: The daylong celebration of LGBTQ culture in Chicago will take place from noon to 11 p.m. on June 29.
  • Pride Parade: The culmination of pride steps off at noon June 30.

Parade route and timing: The parade starts at noon at the corner of Broadway and Montrose. It will then proceed south on Broadway, south on Halsted, east on Belmont, south on Broadway and east on Diversey to Cannon Drive. Thousands of people line the parade route for the annual event.

Street closures and parking: Street closures will be in place along the route on parade day. There will be rolling closures as the parade travels south down the route. 

Parking will be restricted from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Montrose Ave. - Greenview Ave. to Hazel St.
  • Broadway - Leland Ave. to Grace St.
  • Sunnyside Ave. - Broadway to North Sheridan Rd.
  • Halsted St. - Grace St. to to Belmont Ave. (Halsted and Belmont parking is restricted until 4 a.m. Monday)
  • Belmont Ave. - Racine Ave. to Broadway St.
  • Broadway - Melrose Ave. to Diversey Pkwy.
  • Diversey Pkwy. - Broadway to Cannon Dr. (Sheridan)
  • Cannon Dr. - Diversey Pkwy. to Fullerton Pkwy.
  • Addison St. - 736 W. Addison St. to Sheffield Ave.
  • Waveland Ave. - Halsted St. to Broadway St.
  • Grace St. - Halsted St. to Fremont St.
  • Clifton - Montrose Ave. to Sunnyside Ave.
  • N. Sheridan Rd. - Sunnyside Ave. to Buena Ave.
  • Buena Ave. - Sheridan Rd. to Broadway
  • Wellington Ave. - Clark St. to Sheffield Ave.
  • N. Sheridan Rd. - Montrose Ave. to Wilson.

Getting there: Public transportation is "highly recommended" as parking restrictions begin at 5 a.m. Sunday morning and crowds build thoughtout the morning. 

The CTA's Red and Brown Lines provide the closest service to the route, the transit agency notes. The CTA is expected to provide extra service on the day of the parade on Red, Brown, Orange and Blue Lines. 

  • The Red Line: Wilson, Sheridan, Addison or Belmont all provide access via a short walk to the parade route.
  • The Brown Line: Diversey, Wellington and Belmont are the nearest stations to the parade.
  • Lakefront bus routes, including the #146 and #151, provide access from the north, the Gold Coast/North Michigan Avenue and downtown, to the areas east of the parade route.

Officials advised avoiding the Belmont station as it "tends to become the most crowded on the day of the Pride Parade." 

In addition, the CTA will reroute several buses due to street closures along the parade route: #8 Halsted, #22 Clark, #36 Broadway, #76 Diversey, #77 Belmont, #78 Montrose, #80 Irving Park, #151 Sheridan and #152 Addison.

There will also be one-day rainbow flag-themed tickets offered up at several stations including: 

Red Line -95th-Dan Ryan, Belmont, Bryn Mawr, Chicago, Fullerton, Grand, Lake-State, Morse, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Wilson

Brown Line – Diversey and Wellington

Blue Line - O'Hare, Damen and Logan Square

Orange Line -Midway and Roosevelt

Elevated -State & Lake and Clark-Lake

The tickets are good for 24 hours of rides on CTA buses and trains. 

Safety and security: In addition to police officers stationed along the route by the city, parade organizers will also provide a security team along with parade marshals along and surrounding the route. Paradegoers are urged to bring plenty of bottled water, sunscreen and a hat or head covering and to dress lightly if conditions are hot and sunny. 

In addition, paradegoers will be assisted by police to cross parade routes at the following locations: 

  • Montrose Ave. at Broadway
  • Irving Park Rd. at Broadway
  • Grace St. at Halsted St.
  • Addison St. at Halsted St.
  • Roscoe St. at Halsted St.
  • Wellington Ave. at Broadway
  • Aldine St. at Halsted St.
  • Cornelia Ave. at Halsted St.
  • Oakdale Ave. at Broadway
First aid stations will be set up at:
  • 901 W. Addison St.
  • 765 W. Roscoe St.
  • 3165 N. Halsted St.
  • 561 W. Surf St.
  • 802 W. Roscoe St.

Restrictions: Penalties for open containers of alcoholic beverages can include tickets of $1,000 or more being issued along with the immediate disposal of open containers of alcoholic beverages. Police officers and security personnel are stationed along the parade route to intercept people with open containers of alcoholic beverages. Public urination will also be grounds for a ticket, organizers said. 

Grand marshal, floates: This year's event will feature 150 registered floats, vehicles, performance groups, bands and more. This year's theme will be
"Millions of Moments of Pride." There will be multiple grand marshals in the 2019 event, including honorary grand marshal Mayor Lori Liughtfoot, youth grand marshal Molly Pinta, legacy grand marshals Joel Hall, Jim Flint and Marge Summit, and organizational grand marshals Chuck Adams and Gwyn Ciesla. 

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