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CELEBRATE CHICAGO PRIDE

Boystown is the place to be for Pride Month festivities.

Chicago’s Boystown is the epicenter of Pride Month celebrations in Chicago. Named the Best Gay Neighborhood in the World by Out Traveler magazine, Boystown is known as one of the most inclusive LGBTQ+ communities in the nation. Check out the following Pride celebrations, plus hot spots to visit while you’re partying it up in Boystown.

CHICAGO PRIDE FEST

Audience watching performers at Chicago PRIDE Festival

Chicago Pride Fest is held June 16-17 along North Halsted Street, Boystown’s “Main Street.” The festivities include three music stages (R&B star Mya and The Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle are headliners), more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, food from local restaurants, drag shows, DJs, dancing and more. 

CHICAGO PRIDE PARADE

crowd at the Chicago Pride Parade

The centerpiece event of Pride Month is the Chicago Pride Parade, which kicks off at noon on June 24. One of the biggest (and most boisterous) pride parades in the country, the Chicago Pride Parade attracts nearly one million spectators. Expect to see more than 200 colorful floats, marching bands, drag queens and dancers in over-the-top costumes. 

BOYSTOWN

Couple enjoying the Chicago Legacy Walk at Night

Chicago has a proud LGBTQ+ history, with the first legally recognized gay rights organization in the United States established here in 1924. Stroll the award-winning Legacy Walk on Halsted Street in Boystown, stretching from Belmont Avenue to Grace Street, featuring more than 35 bronze memorial markers. Each of the plaques commemorates either an LGBTQ+ hero or heroine (including artist Frida Kahlo and playwright Oscar Wilde), or a significant LGBTQ+ historical event. The plaques are affixed to the towering steel rainbow pylons that dominate the Boystown streetscape. 

DINING

Wood Restaurant's patio dining in Chicago

While in Boystown, be sure to check out the local bars and restaurants. Grab lunch or brunch at The Chicago Diner, serving up tasty vegetarian meals (try the vegan milkshake). For dinner, try Ceres’ Table for Italian cuisine (the artisan pizza is a must try) or Wood, a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant known for its wood-fired seasonal American fare, including house-made sausage. At the sassy Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, dinner is served with a tableside diva drag show, and the huge martini list offers more than 200 cocktails.

NIGHTLIFE

People inside Sidetrack nightclub in Chicago

Nighttime is when Boystown’s Halsted Street really revs up. Sidetrack is one of the most popular spots on the strip. The multilevel club is made up of a collection of spaces (including the GlassBar, rooftop patio and courtyard) and spans eight storefronts. Sidetrack hosts a number of themed events, including the can’t-miss Sunday Funday featuring show tunes. Roscoe’s is a long-time Boystown hangout that boasts a happening dance floor, as well as karaoke and amateur drag contests. Hydrate features a lively calendar of special events, including resident DJs and drag shows, along with a pumping dance floor. 

Learn more about LGBTQ+ Chicago.

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