Pride Guide

Chicago Gay Pride — June 22-24, 2012

By: Michael Matson

The Windy City celebrates Pride the entire month of June, but the biggest weekend kicks off Friday, June 22th with the two-day street festival hosted by the Northalsted Business Alliance, followed by the 43rd Annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 24th. Hundreds of thousands of people will be celebrating at numerous events over the weekend.

Check out the highlights below, with links to more info on other Chicago Gay Pride events.

Photo: Erin Nekervis on Flickr





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Chicago Pride Fest

North Halsted

(On Halsted Street Between Addison & Grace)


Friday: 4:00-10:00PM

Saturday: 11:00AM-10:00PM
It's limited at best. Public transportation is encouraged. The CTA Red Line "L" (Belmont, Addison stops) or Brown Line "L" (Belmont) are conveniently located just a few blocks from the festival.

$7 suggested donation at the door

The weekend kicks off on Friday, June 22nd with this two-day event hosted by Northalsted Business Alliance. The festival features food and other vendors as well as a lineup of arts and crafts. It also features two stages of entertainment and boasts an impressive lineup of performers including JoJo, Frenchie Davis, Guinevere, and many more. Visit Chicago Pride Fest for more info.


Back Lot Bash

Parking lot behind Cheetah Gym, 5238 N. Clark

Friday: 5:00-10:00PM

Saturday & Sunday: 2:00-10:00PM
TICKETS (21+ only)
$35 for three-day pass. Individual events range from $15-20.

Celebrating its 9th year, the three-day outdoor live music and entertainment festival is one of the most highly anticipated and attended Pride weekend events for lesbians in the country. Friday is an "acoustic evening" featuring country star Chely Wright. Saturday's all-day bash includes performances by Dot Dot Dot, Legendary Rockstars, and the Gina Glocksen Band, with spinning from DJ All The Way Kay. Sunday's "Pride Day Bash" features beats by Canvas and performances by C-Factor, Hairbanger's Ball, and Diva Kai Band. Visit Back Lot Bash Chicago for complete schedules, ticket prices, and travel directions.


Proud to Walk & Run
Beginning in Lincoln Park on Simmonds Drive north of Montrose Drive, three blocks east of Lake Shore Drive (view map here).

Some parking is available at Montrose Harbor, but public transportation is strongly encouraged. Bike racks are available at race site.
$35 before June 23, $40 on race day

The 31st annual event includes both a 5K run and a 10K run, was well as a two-mile fun walk presented by Frontrunners/Frontwalkers Chicago. Same day registration, packet, and gear pickup takes place from 6:45—7:45AM, and the aerobic warm—up and stretch begins at 7:40AM. Bodies go in motion at 8:04AM, followed by a raffle and awards ceremony for the top finishers at 10:00AM. Participant can compete as individuals, or as members of a all-male, all-female, or co-ed team. Click here for more info.


Dyke March Chicago

Bezazian Library, 1226 W. Ainslie

Event is free, but donations can be made on here.

Community members come together for an alternative to the official Pride Parade in Boystown to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the Lesbian Community. After decades in the Andersonville, Pilsen, and South Shore neighborhoods, the annual event moves Uptown. The Dyke March Collective believes that, by connecting with Uptown community organizers and community members, the event will be even more educational, fun, and safe march for everyone (more info here).


Chicago 43rd Annual Pride Parade
Staging Area: North and south curb lanes of Montrose (from Broadway to Clark) and east and west curb lanes of Broadway (from Montrose to Wilson)

Begins at 12:00PM

Though the Grand Marshal for Chicago’s 43nd Annual Pride Parade has not been announced yet, the event is always a thrill for the thousands of participants. The parade route is as follows: East on Montrose (to Broadway); and south on Broadway (to Halsted); south on Halsted (to Belmont); east on Belmont (to Broadway); south on Broadway (to Diversey); east on Diversey (to Cannon Drive); then east on Diversey (to Cannon Drive) in Lincoln Park.

Visit PRIDEChicago for a map and additional info.

Don't forget to send us your photos and submit your videos. You could be featured in our Gay Pride Gallery.