Every year on June 1, Pride month begins and so do the pride festivities. From Chicago’s annual Pride Fest to after-hours zoo adventures, here are a few local events for anyone looking to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community this month.
Chicago Pride Fest (June 18-19)
As one of the most popular and well-known pride events, Chicago Pride Fest is undeniably a Pride month staple. After being postponed until Oct. in 2021, the festival will return to Pride month for a weekend celebration of the LGBTQ+ community from June 18-19.
Performers such as The Aces, DJ Metro and CupcakKe will each take to one of the festival’s three stages throughout the weekend, along with a wide variety of other headliners and local artists, according to their website. Art and food vendors will also be available during the two days.
Chicago Pride Fest is open to all ages and lasts from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. on both days. While a $15 donation is encouraged in order to fund community programs and pay performers and festival workers, the event is free to attend.
Lincoln Park Zoo’s Adults Night Out (June 23)
Head over to the Lincoln Park Zoo on June 23 for a kid-free, animal-filled Pride celebration. After the gates close on June 23, people can adventure through the zoo to see the animals and participate in other activities in honor of Pride month.
The Lincoln Park Zoo’s Adults Night Out, which is an 18 and up event, offers a number of games and activities for attendees. In addition to after-hours access to the zoo’s exhibits, the night will feature Drag Queen Bingo with drag queen Veronica Pop, free carousel rides and lawn games.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and wraps up at 10 p.m., with ticket prices starting at $15 until June 13 and $25 until June 23. Lincoln Park Zoo members can use their membership number to receive a 10% discount when purchasing tickets.
Navy Pier Pride (June 25)
On June 25, Navy Pier is inviting LGBTQ+ members and allies for its annual day-long Pride celebration full of festivities and performances. The event, supported by Orsted, will feature pier-wide activities such as storytelling and dance. There will also be live music in the Beer Garden.
From live music to educational programs, Navy Pier Pride (600 E. Grand Ave.) offers attendees the opportunity to support and learn about the LGBTQ+ community at one of Chicago’s most notable landmarks.
Individuals of all ages are able to attend the event. Attendance at Navy Pier Pride is free and festivities last from 12 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.
Proud to Run Race (June 25)
Looking for a way to get active and partake in pride festivities? Proud to Run Chicago is hosting its 40th annual Pride Race in support of the local LGBTQ+ community.
Proud to Run Chicago’s first race was in 1982 and consisted of 40 runners and walkers, according to their website. The race has evolved into a yearly event in Chicago with thousands of participants and supporters and has raised nearly $700,000 for organizations that support the local LGBTQ+ community, according to their website.
The race begins at 8 a.m. at 601 W. Montrose Ave. Registration for a 5K run, 10K run or 5K walk is available for $55, according to the website.
Chicago Pride Parade (June 26)
After a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chicago Pride Parade is finally returning on June 26. The parade usually takes place during the last weekend of June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which sparked the Gay Rights Movement, according to the website.
The parade features marching groups, floats and decorated vehicles that represent support for the LGBTQ+ community from local businesses and organizations.
The 51st annual Chicago Pride Parade kicks off at noon on Sunday, starting at the intersection of West Montrose Avenue and North Broadway, according to the website. The march stretches approximately 21 blocks to the intersection of West Diversey Parkway and North Sheridan Road.