LAKEVIEW — Chicago’s 51st Annual Pride Parade has been postponed due to the coronavirus — leaving the fate of one of the country’s biggest pride celebrations up in the air.
The Pride Parade was scheduled for June 28. But with state officials and health experts forecasting the outbreak lasting into the summer, organizers decided to postpone the event.
Parade coordinator Tim Frye said he hopes the parade can take place in late summer or early fall.
“What we wanted to do is leave the door open just in case,” Frye said. “The parade is really important for so many people. I just couldn’t shut the door entirely.”
The Pride Parade is just the latest major event to be canceled or postponed due to the public health crisis. Earlier this week, the city canceled five summertime events, including the famed Blues Fest.
Pride Fest, an LGBTQ street festival originally scheduled for June 20-21, has also been postponed, organizers said. The event, which features live music, food, vendors and more, could now take place Labor Day weekend.
“We will continually evaluate the feasibility of hosting the festival with local and state officials as the current crisis evolves,” said Mark Liberson, Chicago Pride Fest chairperson, in an emailed statement.
But Market Days, another major event to celebrate Chicago’s queer community, is still on, organizers said. That’s currently scheduled for Aug. 8-9.
Ramesh Ariyanayakam, president of the Northalsted Business Alliance, said organizers “remain steadfast in our belief that Pride should be celebrated far and wide,” so they’ll focus on creating virtual events and programs. More information on that will be released soon.
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