Chicago, IL —
Organizers of Chicago's Pride Fest celebration have announced a planned schedule change to the annual two-day street festival.
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 ChicagoPride.com 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 ChicagoPride.com.
An official announcement with new Pride Fest dates is expected soon. Entertainment announcements and schedules have not yet been made. Related: Pridefest Split: Parade and Festival Planned for Different Weekends
(Andy Ambrosius/Lakeview Patch)