The numbers tell the tale for the upcoming BG Pride Drive, which should far surpass the 2020 edition – and last year's vehicular pride celebration was a resounding success on a sun-soaked Sunday to kick off June.
Just consider some of what's on tap in northwest suburb Buffalo Grove on June 6 for the 3-hour event that starts at 12 noon:
-There are 100-plus homes and business that are stops on the rainbow journey, with more than 70 sponsors, including the top-tiered ZEAL Team (Zebra Equality Alliance for LGBTQ+) at Zebra Technologies.
-There will be 15 participating drag queens, 12 DJs, balloon artists, face painters, bands, food, giveaways and more.
“Please, please let the weather be beautiful because if it is, this event will blow 2020 out of the water – and we were extremely pleased last year,” said Carolyn Pinta of The Pinta Pride Project Inc., the event organizer.
“There will be so much to do and see that no family could possibly get to all of it.”
Thousands of cars attended last year, and organizers are expecting even more this year.
Most of the homes on the Drive are being sponsored by organizations and businesses, so residents have money to put into their decorations.
The Village of Buffalo Grove is even hosting a stop near its village hall, complete with a rock band of employees.
The theme this year, once again, is rainbow, love, acceptance, and visibility.
Pinta said this year's Pride Drive goal is to let, “those who need to see it, see it.”
“Teens in homes where they are not able to be themselves; we hope there are homes on the Drive in your neighborhood,” Pinta added.
Organizers have mapped out six routes that attendees can follow – or they can make their own way around town.
Pinta said the Pride Drive likely will end after this year's rainbow celebration – and a standard Pride Parade will return to Buffalo Grove in 2022.
Donations are being accepted during the Pride Drive for a local food pantry.
Many of the teens attending will, once again, be decked out in rainbows, prancing and dancing with pride.
No doubt some teens will come out as LGBT, as happened last year.
And what about Molly Pinta, now 15, who was the brainchild behind the inaugural 2019 BG Pride Parade?
“Molly is super excited that this year she plans to attend the event with friends like a real pride,” her mom said. “She is helping the family with set up and behind-the-scenes, but she has earned the right to enjoy her day celebrating her Bi-Visibility.”
The Pinta home will, no doubt, be one of the most talked-about stops along the Drive. “We are super excited to have our friends at the Kenneth Young Center, Condell Hospital and a local Coexist Group from Mundelein High School,” at our home, Carolyn said. “We will have Balloons by Tommy and our DJ, Elevated Entertainment.”
Pinta added: “I have been overwhelmed by the number and diversity of sponsorships this year. The political climate that we are finally beginning to escape a little bit has led so many organizations to want to stand for equality and to have it announced very publicly.”
Sponsors for the 2021 BG Pride Drive include ADP, BMO Harris Bank, Temple Chai, Wintrust, Kingswood United Methodist Church, Microsoft, Dunkin' Donuts, Sherwin Williams, Equality Illinois
, Illinois NOW (National Organization of Women), Illinois State Representative Jonathan Carroll, Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Lincolnshire, Mattress Firm, and countless others.Related: Chicago Pride Parade 'highly unlikely' in June, hope remains for later in 2021