Chicago Pride

When is this year's Chicago Pride Parade? Here's what you need to know

This year's Chicago Pride Parade will step off at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 30

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Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.

As Pride Month festivities across the city are well underway, organizers and attendees are making their plans for one of the world's largest pride parades at the end of June, capping off weeks of celebrations.

With a route traveling through the city's historic Lakeview neighborhood, the 53rd annual Chicago Pride Parade is expected to be attended by over one million people.

The parade is scheduled to step off at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 30 from the intersection of Sheridan Road and Broadway, a starting location new to this year's parade.

The event's 11 a.m. start time also marks a change from previous parades, which typically began at noon.

From best places to watch and directions to special guests at the 2024 Chicago Pride Parade, we've got you covered.

What is the 2024 Chicago Pride Parade route?

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.

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.

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 $1,000 or more.

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