Chicago Pride Parade

WBBM Newsradio/Shannon Blum

A Guide To Chicago's 2019 Pride Parade

June 28, 2019 - 9:30 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago's 2019 Pride Parade kicks off Sunday at noon. 

The parade, led by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, steps off at the corner of Broadway & Montrose and ends at Diversey & Cannon Drive. Spectators can wave at parade participants as decorative floats drive by and marching bands perform. 

This year marks 50 years since the Stonewall rebellion; therefore, this year's theme is Stonewall 50: "Millions of Moments of Pride." 

Historically, pride parades commemorate the Stonewall rebellion that took place on June 28,1969, when patrons of a New York City gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, fought back during a raid by police. At that time, gay bars were frequently raided across the country. That night, patrons fought back and street demonstrations continued for several days. During that week, gay liberation groups were formed, thus giving birth to the modern day LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Pride parades are staged in over 200 cities worldwide in more than 100 cities in the United States with at least 12 taking place on the last weekend in June every year. In recent years, many are staged in small towns across the country and recently in various suburbs of Chicago.

Think you are ready to join in on the celebration? Here is a Guide to Chicago's 2019 Pride Parade.

When:

The Chicago Pride Parade steps off Sunday, June 30 at noon.

Where:

The parade steps off at Montrose Avenue and Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood, winding its way through the North Side of the city, the parade travels south on Broadwat, south on Halsted, east on Belmont, south on Broadway and east on Diversey to Cannon Drive.

Theme: 

Stonewall 50: "Millions of Moments of Pride" 

Grand Marshal:

For this year's Chicago’s 50th Annual Pride Parade there will be several Grand Marshals. There will be an Honorary Grand Marshal; a Youth Grand Marshal; several“ Legacy" Grand Marshals (three community members continually active in LGBTQ+ organizations and/or business since before Stonewall for 50 years +) and an Organizational Grand Marshal.

The Honorary Grand Marshal is Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She is the first open lesbian mayor in the city's history.

The Youth Grand Marshal is Molly Pinta, a 12-year-old middle school student who lobbied to have a Pride Parade in her home town Buffalo Grove and came out as a lesbian to her parents, friends, teachers and world-at-large.

The Legacy Grand Marshals include Joel Hall, community activist and founder of the Joel Hall Dance Company; Jim Flint, community activist and owner of the Baton Show Lounge; and Marge Summit, longtime community activist and owner of the His 'n Hers bar that brought LGBTQ+ women and men and our Allies together for entertainment, good food and comaraderie.

The Organizational Grand Marshal is The "Indivisible" group, the Aurora Pride organizers who coordinated the first Chicago area suburban Pride Parade in history last year, and worked hard, with community help and support, to secure their second parade this year after they initially had to cancel it due to an increase in their city fees.

Parade Highlights: 

This year's event will feature 150 registered floats, vehicles, performance groups, bands and more. US99 along with the Second City Outlaws will have a float and will be walking in the parade; WXRT along with Tito's Handmade Vodka, Four Seasons Heating/Air Conditioning, and Blue Man Group will have a float and will have people walking in the parade; and B96 will have a float and will have people walking in the parade.

Chicago Pride Parade Map with public transportation
Chicago Pride

Consider taking public transportation:

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 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

*Note: The Belmont station tends to become the most crowded, so you are encouraged to consider watching the parade from the other parts of the route, including areas toward the start of the route—such as Broadway, south of Montrose—which are served by both the nearby Wilson and Sheridan stations on the Red Line.

Lakefront CTA bus routes including the 146 and 151 provide convenient access from the north, the Gold Coast/North Michigan Ave. and downtown to areas east of the parade route.

  • 8 Halsted
  • 22 Clark
  • 36 Broadway
  • 76 Diversey
  • 77 Belmont
  • 78 Montrose
  • 151 Sheridan
  • 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. 

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. 

Both the Assembly Area and Parade Route (listed above) will be posted with temporary signs indicating “NO PARKING ON SUNDAY JUNE 30, 2019, FROM 5 a.m. TO 8 p.m. - Both sides of the street, unless otherwise indicated.” Due to the volume of vehicles involved, the issuing of parking violation, citations, and towing will start at 5 a.m. promptly.

The following streets will have parking restrictions:

  • 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.
  • 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.


* Please note that parking on Halsted and Belmont will be restricted until 4 a.m. Monday, July 1

Safety:

In addition to police officers stationed along the route by the city, parade organizers will also provide a security team along and surrounding the route. Parade staff also reminds people to bring plenty of bottled water, sunscreen and a hat or other head covering, and dress lightly because parade day is usually hot and sunny.

Pedestrian Cross-Over Streets:

  • 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

At each corner of the streets listed above there will be police officers assigned to assist pedestrians to cross the parade route.

Chicago Fire Department First Aid Stations:

  • 901 W. Addison St.
  • 765 W. Roscoe St.
  • 3165 N. Halsted St.
  • 561 W. Surf St.
  •  802 W. Roscoe St. 

Cooling Buses:

  • Halsted, south of Belmont
  • Addison, west of Halsted
  • Belmont, east of Broadway
  • Wilton, north of Belmont
  • Buena, west of Broadway

Portable Restrooms:

The Pride Parade has increased the number of portable restrooms over the years. There will be a number of portable restrooms stationed along both the parade line-up street and the parade route. 

Physically Challenged Area/Wheelchair Accessible Area/Seniors 

For people who need or want more space use the sidewalks of W. Diversey Pkwy. (near 600 W. Diversey). Traditionally this area of the parade route has fewer spectators than other sections of the parade route. Spectators in these areas generally arrive there early on parade morning to secure their viewing spots. Included there are restrooms for the physically challenged.

Additional Tips

$1000 Fine FOR PUBLIC ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION:

The parade will have more security and a tighter rein on public alcohol consumption. In addition to the large number of police officers who staff the event, PRIDEChicago (parade coordinators) are providing a security team to supplement the police presence. Penalties include, but are not limited to, $1000+ tickets being issued and/or the immediate disposal of open containers of alcohol into trash receptacles.

Public urination is also grounds to receive a ticket. 

CROWDS:

Since the number of spectators has increased dramatically in recent years on Halsted Street, spectators are being advised to try other sections of the parade route to view the parade (for example, 4000 to 4300 N. Broadway). The parade starts at noon. It is recommended that you arrive early!