June is Pride Month in Chicago and the city pulls out all the stops to celebrate. You’ll find parades, outdoor fests, concerts, museum exhibits, and comedy shows showcasing the city’s LGBTQ+ community all month long. It all culminates at the massive Chicago Pride Parade, which draws an estimated one million people to one of the country’s oldest gay neighborhoods. Here are some of the best ways to celebrate Chicago Pride 2019:
The main event
The Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30 is one of the largest in the nation
Pride Fest: June 22 – 23, Pride Parade: June 30
Chicago’s Pride festivities are the biggest party of the year. They start with a two-day celebration where more than 100,000 revelers flock to North Halsted Street in Boystown for live music (LeAnn Rimes and Betty Who are headliners), more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, food from local restaurants, drag shows, DJs, dancing, and more.
The Chicago Pride Parade is one of the most popular LGBTQ+ events in the city and one of the largest parades in the country. It concludes the city’s month-long celebrations with a famous 4-mile procession held on the last Sunday of June. This year marks the 50th anniversary, so its sure to be an extra special celebration.
Outdoor pride fests
Back Lot Bash
June 29, 2019
This brand new festival is taking over Grant Park to celebrate 50 years of Pride in Chicago. Headliners include Iggy Azalea, Steve Aoki, Tamar Braxton, and more.
June 28, 2019
Chicago is a Drag Festival is the city’s first-ever outdoor festival that showcases Chicago’s drag culture. The fest will feature 50 of Chicago’s top drag queens, representing diversity across generations, neighborhoods, and performance styles. The inaugural event will be hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Raja and Tiffany Pollard. Tickets are now available.
June 7 – 9, 2019
The Andersonville neighborhood is one of Chicago’s largest LGBTQ+ communities. The Midsommarfest celebrates that legacy, along with the area’s Swedish roots. The fest features the Balmoral Pride Stage, which showcases local drag queens, cabaret performers, DJs, and more.
June 28 – 30, 2019
The Back Lot Bash kicks off with a Pride Family Fest and follows with two days of a signature outdoor music festival. The Andersonville event is one of the best-attended Pride events dedicated to women. This year’s lineup includes The Veronicas and Jackie Cruz from Orange is the New Black.
June 29, 2019
As a celebration of reclaiming the word “dyke,” the Chicago Dyke March is a grassroots efforts that honors lesbian, queer, bisexual, and transgender people. The 23rd annual event will kick off with a march at 2:30 p.m., followed by a rally in the Little Village neighborhood.
June 30, 2019
Looking for a more laidback Pride party? This Rogers Park celebration brings the high-energy fun with a slightly more chill vibe. Don’t worry — there’s still two stages and three dance floors where you can get down at this free event.
Top pride shows, exhibits, and events
June 14, 2019
Head to the Shedd for a celebration of the diversity within the natural world and our city. Tickets to this LGBTQ+ community night will include admission to all the Shedd’s permanent and special exhibits including the rainbow-hued Underwater Beauty, live entertainment, and hands-on experiences. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June
This annual variety show is written and performed entirely by an all-LGBTQ identifying cast. Sashaying its way to UP Comedy Club at the legendary Second City, this colorful show will feature original sketch, improv, music, and drag.
June 29, 2019
Kicking off the annual free event will consist of a full day of family-friendly festivities in honor of the LGBTQ+ community. This event includes Storytime with Drag Queens, live performances, special film presentations, and a new “Queer the Pier” fashion and music show headlined by special guest CeCe Penistone.
June 29, 2019
Race along the lakefront for a great cause! This event has raised more than $600,000 for the local LGBTQ+ community.
May 22 – July 20, 2019
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, this major new exhibit showcases the stunning diversity of queer art from historical to contemporary works. Presented in the new Wrightwood 659 space designed by Tadao Ando, the surroundings are just as breathtaking as the art.
June 14 – June 30, 2019
Art on theMART will celebrate Pride Month with a rainbow-colored animated projection on view this month at the largest permanent digital art projection in the world. The one-minute projection will loop approximately every 15 minutes for two hours a night from June 14 through 30.