Chicago Celebrates Pride Month With Community Events

Read The Phoenix’s list of local festivities catered toward LGBTQ+ community members and allies. 

June 1 marks the start of Pride Month, a time for celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Chicago Pride’s origins trace to 1970, with a small march from Washington Square Park to the Chicago Water Tower — honoring the endured struggles of the community just one year after the Stonewall Uprising in New York City on June 28, 1969, according to WTTW.

Since then, Chicago Pride has blossomed into a vibrant, month-long scene celebrating the acceptance of all sexual and gender identities. The following events are local festivities catered toward LGBTQ+ community members and allies. 

Midsommarfest (June 9-11)

Honoring the neighborhood’s Swedish heritage, Andersonville’s annual Midsommarfest is a three-day festival with Pride tributes riddled throughout. 

The event honors the summer solstice, which is celebrated through similar festivities across Sweden. On their new Urban Pride stage, the neighborhood will host performances from drag queens on June 10 and 11 along with Drag Storytime for families each day of the festival. 

Andersonville’s Midsommarfest takes place June 9 from 5-10 p.m., and June 10 and 11 from 12-10 p.m. 

A suggested donation of $10 toward Andersonville’s Chamber of Commerce is encouraged at the gate, though the event itself is free.

Chicago Pride Fest (June 17-18)

The 22nd annual Chicago Pride Fest occurs one week before Chicago’s Pride Parade in the Northalsted neighborhood.

Musical performances from pop singers JORDY, Slayyyter and British vocalist Heather Small will take place on the festival’s main stages, alongside rock group Meet Me @ The Altar, Drag Queen Eureka O’Hara and rap artists Cookie Kawaii and Bbymutha. 

The festivities will occur from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 17 and 18 and are free to attend, with a suggested donation of $15 to the Northalsted Business Alliance upon entry. 

Pride in the Park (June 23)

Celebrating its 4th year, Grant Park will be enveloped in rainbows this June with Pride in the Park Chicago

The music festival features an all-star lineup of Grammy-winning performers and DJ’s as well as booths from local artists and vendors. 

Headliners Zedd and Saweetie will take to the stage June 23 and 24 in Chicago’s historic Butler Field in Grant Park (South Lake Shore Drive and East Monroe Street)

The festival is open to all ages, with free admission for children under 10. 

The festival will occur from 3-10 p.m. on Friday and 2-10 p.m. on Saturday. General admission tickets cost $60 for a 1-day pass, and can be purchased through Pride in the Park’s website

Pride North Chicago (June 23-25)

Rogers Park’s Pride North event (6962 N. Glenwood Ave.) is the Northside’s take on celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Just a 15 minute walk from Loyola at the Morse Red Line stop, the celebration is a three-day tribute filled with DJ performances and local vendors. 

For those looking to celebrate Pride close to Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus, Pride North is free to all from 3-10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. 

Navy Pier Pride (June 24)

Chicago’s free annual Navy Pier Pride will take place June 24 from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) 

Past celebrations have featured marching bands, live music, educational programs and local vendors, with pedestrians encouraged to deck-out the pier in Pride-themed apparel in a “Queer the Pier” fashion show. 

Closing the night out, the pier will be illuminated with rainbow fireworks, making for a sparkling Pride weekend in Chicago. 

Back Lot Bash (June 24)

Andersonville’s Back Lot Bash is a lively, 21+ Pride concert celebrating queer women.

The event will feature performances by queer R&B singer Lauren Sanderson and DJ MARY MAC. 

Back Lot Bash takes place from 12-11 p.m. at 5238 N. Clark St. Tickets to attend Back Lot Bash are $20 and can be purchased on the event’s website

Chicago Pride Parade (June 25)

Closing out Pride festivities is the Chicago Pride Parade, which occurs annually on the final Sunday in June. As it celebrates its 52nd year, the parade is now one of the city’s largest, with a turnout of nearly 1 million in 2022, according to ABC7.

Starting in Uptown, the procession kicks off on West Montrose Avenue and North Broadway and snakes through the north side to finish in Lincoln Park at the intersection of West Diversey Parkway and North Sheridan Road. 

The approximately four-mile-long parade is set to begin at noon. Floats, decorated vehicles, marching bands and local businesses are among those featured in the procession.

Featured image by Ella Govrik / The Phoenix

Hanna Houser

Hanna Houser