The 52nd annual Chicago Pride Parade will be held Oct. 3 instead of its traditional date on the last Sunday in June.
Pride Parade coordinator Tim Frye and other organizers made the decision to reschedule the parade in anticipation more people will be vaccinated by October. Some Pride month events will be held next month, including Pride in the Park on June 26 and 27.
“One of the big differences is they have controlled access,” said Frye, comparing Pride in the Park and the parade. “It’s a ticketed event. They may have requirements for vaccine information or negative virus testing. With a parade, you can’t do that.”
Frye anticipates the parade marching its traditional route through Boystown. The parade is set to step off at noon from Montrose and Broadway, moving south on Broadway to Halsted then to Belmont, where it turns east to Broadway, then south to Diversey where it again turns east to the endpoint at Cannon Drive.
Frye believes the parade will return to its usual June date in 2022.
“There will be time for more people to be vaccinated and for it to be a safer world,” Frye said. “It’s something to celebrate, and there haven’t been all that many things over the last year to do that with.”
Though last year’s parade was a virtual event due to COVID-19, Frye emphasized the parade’s importance and impact.
“I came out because I went to a Pride Parade. I’ve talked to many other people who stood on the sidelines at any given pride parade and said, ‘OK, I think I’m OK after all,’” Frye said.
This year’s parade will be the first in-person event since Frye’s husband and fellow parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer died in 2019. Frye hopes to celebrate Pfeiffer’s life somehow during the parade.
“Back before emails, we used to get phone calls from people from all over the Midwest, wanting to know when the Pride Parade would come because that was their time to be able to come out and feel comfortable,” Frye said. “I think that’s why it’s special to me.”
Updates about Chicago’s Pride Parade can be found at chicagopridecalendar.org.