NORTHALSTED — The Chicago Pride Parade is returning this June after two years of being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s parade will happen June 26, said parade coordinator Tim Frye.
“It’s exciting to be back in person,” Frye said. “We’re aware, though, that the safety of participants and onlookers comes first. With COVID, things could change. We hope not, but always have to keep that in mind.”
The parade, which draws thousands to Chicago’s Northalsted neighborhood to celebrate LGBTQ pride, will kick off at Montrose Avenue and Broadway in Uptown and make its way south, ending at Diversey Avenue and Sheridan Road.
This year marks the first time the parade will be organized solely by Frye after his husband, Richard Pfeiffer, died in 2019. Pfeiffer coordinated the parade from 1974 through 2019.
Frye and his husband came out as gay after watching a Pride Parade, he said last year.
“I always imagine that one person (or more) that comes to the parade sees what can be in their life. They can have a happy, productive life and be LGBTQI+,” Frye said. “We missed that person in 2020 and now 2021, [but] we won’t miss them again in 2022 or after.”
Pride Fest, a separate event organized by the Northalsted Business Alliance, is also returning this year. It will happen June 17-19, the weekend before the parade, according to the business alliance’s website.
Last year, the festival was rescheduled from June to October due to rising coronavirus cases earlier in the summer. This year mark’s the festival’s return to Pride Month, which is traditionally celebrated in June to mark the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
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