Pride Parade Spreads Joy, Celebrates Progress On North Side

Andy Dahn
June 24, 2018 - 2:32 pm

Courtesy: Ariel Cheung

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There’s blue in the sky and rainbows on the ground here for the 49th annual Pride Parade Sunday, which has brought massive crowds to the North Side streets and rooftops.

On a picture perfect day in Chicago, it's estimated that close to 1 million people took part in an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community. The annual Pride Parade stepped off from Montrose and Broadway Sunday afternoon.

"I love seeing how proud everybody is of their choices and their lifestyle," Bri, a spectator, said. "I like seeing everyone open about it and not having to hide it."

"You can be yourself here and nobody cares," another spectator said. "I like that."

Caught in a sea of signs that read "Love is Love" and "Make America Gay Again," local chef Angie Wines admitted that the 49th annual event felt special compared to past parades.

"We just had the most beautiful experiences with things like marriage equality," Wines said. "Those are Pride Parades that I'll never forget. Things happen that I never thought I'd see in my lifetime. If we're not careful, it's all going to be reversed very quickly. This is the time for us to unite more than ever."

Courtesy: Ariel Cheung

It was the second year that Craig Augustyniak joined in the festivities in support of his parents.

"They're both police officers," Augustyniak said. "Officers get a lot of riff-raff for being who they want to be. I'm here to represent the police department, the city of Chicago and prove that gay is not a bad thing. It's a good thing."

The parade featured a heavy police presence and numerous emergency tents, though heat did not appear to be a factor.

WBBM Newsradio/Andy Dahn