Few cities have a greater variety of Pride-related gay events going on during the month of June than Chicago, whose Gay Pride Month includes sporting events, food tastings, parades, plays, musical performances, parties, queer youth gatherings, and ceremonies of all kinds. Chicago's most significant Pride events take place primarily in late June, although this year Chicago Pride Fest takes place June 22 and June 23, 2013, a week before the Chicago Pride Parade, held June 30, which is the same weekend as the popular related event, Backlot Bash Chicago taking place over the same period, June 27 to June 30, 2013.Shop for rooms and compare rates at Chicago hotels during Gay Pride
The city's main Pride celebrations center around a series of events and parties, culminating in the city's Annual Pride Parade. Events include lectures, awards ceremonies, book discussions, and all sorts of parties - Here's the official calendar of events:
The Chicago Pride Fest Street Festival is a great place to meet local merchants and learn about area GLBT organization. It takes place this year the weekend before the parade, on Saturday, June 22, from noon until 10 pm, and on Sunday, June 23, from noon until 9 pm in the heart of Boystown. The festivities are staged along North Halsted Street between Addison and Grace, and live entertainment this year includes such top acts as Janice Robinson and Tameka Star, Sandy B., Neon Hitch, Inaya Day, Ultra Nate, Deborah Cox, Dev, Xelle, Blu Cantrell, Jessica Sutta, Aubrey O'Day, and more.
Chicago Pride's most famous event is its Annual Pride Parade, a colorful and celebratory procession that begins at noon on Sunday, June 30. The parade begins at the corner of Broadway and Montrose, and continues south on Broadway, then south on Halsted, east on Belmont, south again on Broadway, and east on Diversey to Cannon Drive. Here's a map of the Chicago Pride parade.
One very cool Pride event that takes place in Chicago's diverse and vibrant Andersonville neighborhood, the four-day Backlot Bash Chicago takes place Thursday, June 27, from 7 pm on; Friday from 5 pm until 10 pm; Saturday, from 3 until 10 pm, and Sunday, from 3 until 10 pm. Except for Thursday's Comedy Kickoff at Mayne Stage (1328 W. Morse Ave.) and featuring Julie Goldman, Sandra Valls, Brandy Howard, and Gwen La Roka, events take place at 5238 North Clark Street (right behind Cheetah Gym). This massive women's party, dubbed the "Ultimate Lesbian Concert", is welcoming of everybody and features a number of live music performances, including Melissa Ferrick, Whitney Mixter and Sara Bettencourt, Uh Huh Her, Edie Carey, Dot Dot Dot, Gina Glocksen Band, and several others. Cover charge is $10 to $20 depending on when you arrive - see the Backlot Bash website for details and to purchase three-day passes.
Additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week, especially in the gay-popular Lakeview and Andersonville neighborhoods. Check local gay papers, such as the Windy City Times, for details, as well as the Chicago Phoenix Gay Pride Guide. An excellent website covering the city's GLBT scene is ChicagoPride.com. Also take a look at the excellent GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Chicago CVB.