Chicago’s annual Pride Parade and June festival celebrating LGBTQ pride are the latest summertime activities to be postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tim Frye, coordinator of the 2020 parade, said the event will no longer step off on June 28, but he hopes it can be held in late summer or early fall.
“We have always felt that safety is the first priority for our participants in the parade, the hundreds of spectators, as well as the city agencies and independent contractors that work so hard to make the parade a success,” Frye said.
Frye said if the parade cannot be rescheduled, it will be back in 2021 and “for years to come.”
Boystown’s annual Pride Fest, which was planned for June 20 and 21, was also postponed, according to the Northalsted Business Alliance, which organizes the festival. It is now scheduled for Sept. 5 and 6.
Jen Gordon, spokesperson for the Northalsted Business Alliance, said the group is “hopeful” that pushing the fest later in the summer will still allow for people to enjoy the festivities but “everything remains to be seen at this point.”
Gordon said safety concerns drove the decision.
Though people won’t be able to gather for the festival in June, the business alliance is planning virtual programming to have a “pride presence for that weekend and the entire month of pride,” Gordon said. The plans for the programming are still being worked out.
“We wanted to put something on the calendar as an aspirational new date, but we will be in constant communication and following guidelines to have a safe celebration this year,” Gordon said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first openly gay mayor, was asked about the Pride Parade earlier Wednesday, and said the city was urging its organizers to make a determination on postponing it.
“We have to be guided by the science and the data, and we cannot reopen and have mass congregations ... until we have reached some of these milestones that I laid out,” Lightfoot said.
“If we’re not there, we can’t go forward with any of these mass events,” she said.