Chicago Pride Parade: Everything you need to know
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Chicago’s 49th annual Pride Parade is Sunday. The parade — one of more than 150 being staged across the globe — commemorates the Stonewall rebellion of 1969, in which patrons of the New York City gay bar the Stonewall Inn fought back against a police raid. The events that followed gave birth to the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
The parade kicks off at noon Sunday. Based on recent years, it could last anywhere from 2 1/2 to 5 hours. There are 150 groups registered to take part, with floats, buses, trolleys and marchers.
It starts at Broadway and Montrose Avenue, then heads south on Broadway, south on Halsted Street, east on Belmont Avenue, south on Broadway and east on Diversey Avenue to Cannon Drive.
How to get there
Public transportation is your best bet — though you might want to avoid the Belmont L stop on the Red and Brown Lines to avoid the biggest crowds. Already one of the busiest stations on the L, it saw ridership balloon last year to three times that of a normal Sunday in June, according to CTA data. If you’re planning to head out early, use the Red Line stops at Wilson or Sheridan near the start of the route. For late arrivals, the Diversey Brown Line station or the Fullerton Red/Brown station would be less crowded options.
If you go by bus, the Lakefront No. 146 (Inner Drive/Michigan Express) or the No. 151 (Sheridan) are the best bets from downtown.
These bus lines all will be running but will be rerouted because of the parade: No. 8 (Halsted), No. 22 (Clark), No. 36 (Broadway), No. 76 (Diversey), No. 77 (Belmont), No. 78 (Montrose), No. 80 (Irving Park), No. 151 (Sheridan) and No. 152 (Addison).
Avoiding the most crowded spots and getting around
The most crowded part of the parade route tends to be the stretch along Halsted. The section at the start along Broadway and at the end, along Diversey from Clark Street to Cannon Drive, tend to be less crowded.
There are nine designated “crossover” locations: Montrose at Broadway, Irving Park at Broadway, Grace at Halsted, Addison at Halsted, Roscoe at Halsted, Wellington at Broadway, Aldine at Halsted, Cornelia at Halsted and Oakdale at Broadway.
Sunday’s forecast is mostly sunny, with a high of 72 degrees and a low of 62 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Following on Twitter
The hashtags being used ahead of the parade are #ChicagoPride, #Pride, #PrideParade, #PrideMonth and #ChicagoPride.
Orlando Cruz, the first openly gay professional boxer, will be grand marshal.
Chicago police officers will be out on the parade route along with a 170-person private security team.
Parking will be a nightmare. If you still plan to drive, SpotHero is offering special Pride parking rates, but get there early.
It might be too late to find brunch reservations on a patio along the parade route, but there will be bars on Halsted that are open during and after the parade.
For more information on the parade –including tips from parade experts– and other Pride events happening this month, check out our Chicago Pride Guide.