Chicago's Pride Parade Postponed For First Time In Its 50 Year History Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Pride Fest will also be postponed.

WBBM Newsradio Staff
April 23, 2020 - 10:39 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The 2020 Chicago Pride Parade has been postponed for the first time in the parade's history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pride Fest, a festival celebrating LGBTQ pride, has also been postponed.

The parade, which draws a million people and is one of the largest in the nation, was scheduled for June 28, but now coordinator Tim Frye is hoping to hold it in late summer or early fall.

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"We are sad to announce that the annual Pride Parade will not take place this year on June 28.  We announce this postponement in the hope that conditions will allow the parade to take place later this summer or early fall," parade organizers wrote in a statement. "We have always felt that safety is the first priority for our participants in the parade; the hundreds of thousands of spectators; as well as all the city agencies and independent contractors that work so hard to make the parade a success every year. We hope that there will be a possibility to reschedule.  However, if that is not possible, we know that the Pride Parade will be back in 2021 and for years to come."

In addition to the parade's cancellation, Boystown’s annual Pride Fest, a two-day street festival held a week before the Pride Parade, was also postponed, according to the Northalsted Business Alliance, which organizes the festival. The fest was originally planned for June 20 and 21. It is now tentatively rescheduled for Sept. 5 and 6.

According to the Tribune, the organizers are working on virtual programming for June.

“That’s something that we’re hard at work at here, to come up with virtual programming to reach not only the Chicago community,” said Jen Gordon, spokesperson for the Northalsted Business Alliance, which organizes the festival. “We have a lot of domestic and international visitors that also celebrate with us. It’s really going to come down to how things play out over the next few months. Certainly none of us have a crystal ball, and we’ll hope for the best, but safety is paramount.”

The announcement marks the first time that the festival has been postponed in its 19-year history.

At this time, Northalsted Market Days remains on the calendar for the weekend of August 8 and 9. 

New York and San Francisco had previously announced that their parades would not take place in June.