Chicago Pride Parade

"Video coverage of the 2007 Chicago Gay Pride Parade."
The Chicago Pride Parade 2006, on Halsted Street at Brompton Avenue.
Rainbow flags decorate Lake View East in anticipation of the Chicago Pride Parade.
A Human Rights Campaign float moves past spectators.

The Chicago Pride Parade, also colloquially (and formerly) called the Chicago Gay Pride Parade or PRIDE Chicago, is the annual pride parade held on the last Sunday of June in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. It is considered the culmination of the larger Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, as promulgated by the Chicago City Council and Mayor of Chicago. Chicago's Pride Parade is one of the largest, by attendance, in the world.

The first parade was organized on Saturday, June 27, 1970, as a march[1] from Washington Square Park ("Bughouse Square") to the Water Tower at the intersection of Michigan and Chicago avenues, which was the route originally planned, and then many of the participants extemporaneously marched on to the Civic Center (now Richard J. Daley) Plaza.[2] Today the parade takes place through the main streets of Lake View East, a neighborhood enclave of the Lakeview community area. Recent parades have started at noon on Halsted Street, proceeding north from Belmont Avenue, passing the Center on Halsted at Waveland Avenue; south on Broadway (at Grace Street) to Diversey Parkway and east on Diversey Parkway to Cannon Drive. The parade route will begin in the Uptown neighborhood at the corner of Broadway and Montrose. The parade will then proceed south down Broadway to Halsted, continue south on Halsted to Belmont, then east on Belmont to Broadway where it will resume its former route.

With the increasing political participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans and the community's relatively high financial resources through political action groups and as individual donors, Illinois politicians have increased their presence at the Chicago Pride Parade. Both the Illinois Democratic and Republican parties have been heavily represented, most noticeably by former Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, and former Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, a Republican. Both had strong support from many gay and lesbian voters.

On June 28, 2009 more than 500,000 spectators watched the 40th annual Chicago Pride Parade. Among the entries were several marching bands, dance troupes, twirlers, and many political figures. The 2010 parade featured an appearance from the Chicago Blackhawks' Brent Sopel and The Stanley Cup as part of the Chicago Gay Hockey Association's float. Sopel appeared in the parade to honor Brendan Burke, the gay son of the Maple Leafs' GM Brian Burke. The 2011 parade included 250 entries and was attended by over 800,000 spectators, almost double the previous year, causing massive overcrowding and resulted in a reorganization of the parade route for the 2012 parade.

Annual parade details

As the Chicago Pride Parade is held on the last Sunday in June (except for in 1994), weather for the event is usually warm and dry. The average high temperature at O'Hare airport for parade day since 1970 is 83 degrees and the average low is 61. Additionally, on 22% of parade days there has been measurable precipitation. The warmest pride parade was 99 degrees in 1983. The wettest was in 1978 when 0.92 inches of rain fell.

See also


  1. "Chicago Tribune", June 28, 1970, p. A3
  2. "Outspoken: Chicago's Free Speech Tradition". Newberry Library. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  3. Rotenberk, Lori (1989-06-26). "Daley is first mayor to lead gays' parade". Chicago Sun-Times.

External links

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