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Plans underway to move Chicago Pride Fest to weekend before annual parade

Pride Fest 2013 proposed dates: Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23

Chicago, IL — Organizers of Chicago's Pride Fest celebration have announced a planned schedule change to the annual two-day street festival. 

Chicago Pride Parade, the last Sunday in June
Chicago Pride Parade, the last Sunday in June
Rumors of splitting the festival and parade to separate weekends have circulated for weeks, but members of the Northalsted Business Alliance (NHBA) - the group behind Pride Fest - presented proposal details during a meeting with the East Lake View Neighbors Association (ELVN) on Tuesday, according to the Lakeview Patch

Jen Gordon, a spokesperson for NHBA, told that the group has been in the process of obtaining approvals to change the date, which includes meeting with community groups and city officials. 

Pride Fest is planned for Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23, 2013. The festival has traditionally been a prelude to the Chicago Pride Parade, which is scheduled for Sunday, June 30, 2013. The parade is coordinated by Richard Pfeiffer of PRIDEChicago, who confirmed the parade will travel the same route as last year. 

"Hosting Pride Fest on Saturday and Sunday, instead of the Friday and
Saturday was something we've thought about for a while," said Gordon. "We think there may be better continuity having a Saturday, Sunday event."

Pride Fest organizers believe the change will help alleviate congestion along North Halsted St. in the Lakeview neighborhood during June by allowing a "Pride Week" instead of weekend. Last year's Pride Parade drew over 850,000 people to Boystown.

"The goal is to grow Pride Fest into a world class event as well as encourage tourist to come and make Chicago a week-long destination," Sean Kowta, Hydrate general manager and co-chair of the organizing committee, told

An official announcement with new Pride Fest dates is expected soon. Entertainment announcements and schedules have not yet been made. 

Pridefest Split: Parade and Festival Planned for Different Weekends
(Andy Ambrosius/Lakeview Patch)
I think this is great idea!
Posted by Jun665 on Wed, 2/6/2013 10:15 AM
Worst "Pride Fest" ever. Milwaukee has a far superior Fest. Ours isn't even run by the "community" from what I understand.
Posted by Curt Struebin on Wed, 2/6/2013 12:34 PM
The new parade route sucks. And some legit community business gets shut out in favor of big $ sponsors. It's all about the money now.
Posted by David496 on Wed, 2/6/2013 12:38 PM
This is the dumbest idea ever.
Posted by Lea595 on Wed, 2/6/2013 12:54 PM
I've been to both Chicago and Milwaukee's Pride Fests and I have to say that the Milwaukee fest is far superior. I agree with \u0040David Berry, the Chicago fest has turned into a corporate-sponsored party.
Posted by Val Demma on Wed, 2/6/2013 1:35 PM
I think it'll be a good idea. What's wrong with extending the party for a week? It already was a week-long party anyway.
Posted by rcktmanil on Wed, 2/6/2013 5:33 PM
Two different weekends would mean that tourist will look to other cities to travel to for Pride weekends. San Francisco has both Fest/Parade on the same weekend as does Christopher Street West in West Hollywood. I guess if a smaller, more local oriented Pride event is what Chicago want's, then this is a good idea.
Posted by tab6677 on Wed, 2/6/2013 6:38 PM
I think this is a GREAT IDEA! I moved to Chicago a few years ago and have always been shocked at how negative this community can be. People in Chicago don't realize how lucky they are to have such community and business support.

As for the parade and sponsors, do you think it's easy to shut down 20 blocks or more of major streets in Chicago? To put up the barricades and pay for extra police. Where does this money come from? Are you going to donate money to make it happen?

Appreciate what you have Chicago! Appreciate those who work hard to make it happen.
Posted by RyanOH on Thu, 2/7/2013 9:30 AM
This is for the people that only celebrate being gay for one weekend. Now you have two. I just see it as Pride festivities extended. Which means more costume changes!
Posted by Sal Esparza on Thu, 2/7/2013 12:09 PM
This is not good for the people coming from out of the city. I can't afford to make plans for two different weekends and the parade is such a huge part of the festival. I want to be able to enjoy both when I come. I have been wanting to come to Chicago Pride for a long time. Please don't devide it.
Posted by Andrea803 on Fri, 5/3/2013 3:35 PM
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