Starting this Friday, the city of Chicago kicks off its pride festivities. Plenty of parties, celebrations, and events merge the locals and visitors for this GLBT- filled weekend. While a majority of events will occur in the Boystown area, look northbound to the neighborhood of Andersonville for a weekend of live music and the lasses filling the patio at T's Bar and Restaurant.
Saturday brings plenty of fun to choose from no matter what suits your fancy. Beginning at 3pm, head to Margate Park in the Uptown neighborhood for the Chicago Dyke March. This event moves to different areas of town each year in an effort to bring visibility and awareness to the queer, bisexual, and transgender ladies and their allies of the town. If fitness is more your style, the GLBT running group the Frontrunners hosts Proud to Run, a 5K starting off at Montrose Harbor. Looking for the traditional festival atmosphere? Then take a stroll to Halsted at Waveland for Chicago Pride Fest where plenty of vendors and entertainment will keep you occupied for hours. There is a $5 - $7 suggested donation for entry.
Saturday evening brings the infamous improv group Too Much Light Makes a Baby Go Blind's performance of 30 Queer Plays in Sixty Straight Minutes. This event starts at 8pm at the Neo-Futurarium located at 5153 N. Ashland Ave. Admission will cost you $20 and get there early as the line is known to wrap down the block and their events easily reach capacity. If you don't get in, walk one block east and one block north to Cheetah Gym where they have turned the space behind their building into an outdoor music venue. Here you'll find Backlot Bash, a three-day event of GLBT identified musicians who rock out through the night. Country music sensation and prior Chicago Pride Parade grand marshal Chely Wright headlines on Friday.
Grab your sunscreen and line the streets of Halsted while floats of beautiful boys and lovely ladies pass by the screaming masses. Holla your loudest, and you may get thrown some good swag! For those who have attended in prior years past, you'll notice something a little bit different this year -- the parade route has changed. Beginning at Broadway and Montrose, the route shoots south (no looping this year) and ends at Diversey Parkway and Cannon Drive. The bonus of the route change is that it will be more accessible via public transit (Addison, Belmont, Sheridan, and Wilson Red Line L stations). The parade is set to kick off at noon on Sunday, June 24th. The 43rd annual Pride Parade is the highlight of the weekend and won't disappoint.