Chicago Pride Parade postponed for first time in 50-year history

Wed. April 22, 2020 4:50 PM by Ross Forman

chicago pride parade cut short due to storms

photo credit // steven koch

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the cancellation or postponement of hundreds of Pride celebrations, including Chicago Pride Fest and Pride in the Park Chicago

The Chicago Pride Parade, scheduled for Sunday, June 28, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time that the parade has been postponed or canceled in its 50-year history.

"We are sad to announce that the annual Pride Parade will not take place this year on June 28. We announce this postponement in the hope that conditions will allow the parade to take place later this summer or early fall," PRIDEChicago said in a statement. 

"We have always felt that safety is the first priority for our participants in the parade; the hundreds of thousands of spectators; as well as all the city agencies and independent contractors that work so hard to make the parade a success every year.

"We hope that there will be a possibility to re-schedule. However, If that is not possible, we know that the Pride Parade will be back in 2021 and for years to come." the statement continued.

Chicago's first Pride parade, in 1970, drew about 100 people. The 2019 Parade, celebrating its 50th, attracted more than 1 million people for the Sunday festivities that start in Uptown, wind through Lakeview and ultimately end in Lincoln Park.

This year is bittersweet for parade organizer Tim Frye, whose husband Richard Pfeiffer died of cancer in October. Pfeiffer coordinated the annual parade since 1974. Frye picked up the mantle and has been organizing this year's parade as a tribute to his late husband. The couple was together for 48 years.

Ironically, last year's Pride Parade was cut short due to inclement weather.

Chicago's Pride Parade is a city-wide event that attracts politicians, TV stars, sports personalities and more. In 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks allowed the Stanley Cup to ride with the Chicago Gay Hockey Association in the parade.

Organizers for Chicago Pride Fest also announced Wednesday the postponement of the annual festival in Boystown from June 20 - 21 to Labor Day weekend.

Related: A look back at the Chicago Pride Parade: 1970 - 2018

Chicago LGBTQ COVID-19 Resources