Pride Month 2022: 'Chicago is truly turning it up'

Mon. June 6, 2022 12:19 PM by Ross Forman

chicago pride fest, 2019

photo credit // steven koch

Most-anticipated Chicago Pride Month events and parties return in 2022

The rainbow path through Chicago leads to Sunday, June 26, when the 51st annual Chicago Pride Parade steps off at 12noon.

The city is ready for a super Sunday celebration after all that it has endured over the past two years.

“This year's Pride Month almost feels like a rebirth in so many ways,” said Paul Canella, owner of Scarlet Bar in Chicago's Northalsted neighborhood. “I was literally grinning seeing updates from cities getting ready for their local celebrations, but I'm super excited for this year's Chicago Pride Parade. We deserve it and I think we'll appreciate it a bit more.”

Chicago-based Cenk Duman, known as simply Janky, said he is “so beyond excited for this year's Pride month events. After the last two years of covid restrictions, we deserve to celebrate extra hard this year.”

Janky will be spinning at Pride In The Park, another of Chicago's most-anticipated Pride Month multi-day parties.

Activist Joe Lewis predicted that Pride Month 2022 will be “one for the books.” He added, “We all have many reasons to rejoice, especially our enduring survival after these past two years.

“I'm excited for the community to come together and proudly show the world how Chicago celebrates Pride. The existence of the parade has always been inspiring for me as it validates our shared LGBTQI+ existence, but also commemorates and memorializes those who pioneered the way and those whom we have lost. I hope this year it continues to do just that and that we don't lose sight of the true soul of pride.”

Lewis said that are a variety of Pride Month events that he is excited for, including the Legends of Drag book launch on June 4 at Unabridged Book Store in Lakeview, Juneteenth celebrations, various panels including one for Block Club Chicago on June 16 and the Mars Candy Company (Pride event) on June 23 … plus multiple drag brunches, including the one that Lewis is hosting on June 25th at Fatpour Tap Works in Wicker Park.

“This possibly will be my last month in Chicago as I've been called to use my skills back home in Atlanta. After 14 years in Chicago, my heart bursts with love for every corner of this magnificent city, giving me more reason than ever to really make this one count,” Lewis said.

Dusty Carpenter added: “I'm so excited for Pride in Chicago this year. We have Pride Fest, the return of our mainstay Pride Parade, and then closing it all out with Pride In The Park. How euphoric that the queer community and our allies can partake in the Pride Parade, which originally started as a protest against discrimination and attacks on our community to then on the same day able to come downtown and celebrate our achievements by dancing with our chosen friends and family at Pride In The Park. This is a movement that will not stop.”

For more information or to purchase tickets to Pride In The Park, visit

When it comes to celebrating Pride, or anything for that matter, no one does it better than Matthew Harvat, the real-life CircuitMOM of CircuitMOM Productions.

“Pride Month is here and the world is ready to celebrate with what seems like 10,000 events this June,” Harvat said, laughing. “Chicago is truly turning it up and out with not only the return of Andersonville's three-day MidsommarFest, but also Boystown gets to celebrate Pride Fest, too. Both legendary Chicago events are finally back after a two-year hiatus. I know people are anxious to be outside with their friends, the food and the live entertainment.”

Pride In The Parade hit a home run with its lineup, led by The Chainsmokers and Alesso.

CircuitMOM has its own stage at PITP, with five DJs playing house, disco and circuit sounds. Stunning drag queens, such as Priyanka (winner of Canada's Drag Race, Season 1), the dazzling Alexandrea Diamond and Pepper, will be featured among CircuitMOM highlights.

“We are very excited to work with drag king Travis Fiero for the first time,” Harvat said. “CircuitMOM will be shaking her groove thing as well. On Saturday night, June 25, we are making our return to a nighttime Pride party with 'Love Revolution' at House of Blues with a stellar line up featuring DJs Jace M and Guy Scheiman. We have not done a Pride party since 2014, so we are very excited to be back.”

For more information or to purchase tickets to 'Love Revolution', visit

Harvat added: “Pride feels different this year. With two years of shutdowns and cancellations, it is very exciting to be coming back, but there is a new-found dedication to continuing our fight for equal rights for women, our trans brothers and sisters, and the LGBTQAI+ community overall. With so many attacks on our civil liberties, we must never let our guard down and keep letting the world know we are equal and not going anywhere. Here's to creating a stronger unity amongst ourselves as a community so we can fight back the setbacks. These Pride events will bring people together to remind us how beautiful life can be, especially if we all come together.”

"We at Center on Halsted are looking forward to celebrating Pride month in person this year, hosting a number of presentations and receptions," said CEO Modesto 'Tico' Valle, noting the universality of the term Pride. "We are celebrating Juneteenth with a dance presentation by the Joel Hall Dancers. Our trans community is being welcomed with our annual ice cream social on the roof-top garden. And each year we host a donor reception and a senior center viewing for the Pride Parade."

All of the Center's June events can be found on its website calendar at, as well as its social media platforms.

Pride Month 2022: parade, festival and other events to celebrate

Chicago Pride Fest (June 18-19)

Chicago Pride Fest is returning to the Northalsted neighborhood in 2022. The annual festival was canceled in 2020 and moved to October in 2021 due to the pandemic. Alaska Thunderf*ck, Dorian Electra, CupcakKe, Eurovision winner Netta, The Aces, and “Queen of the Universe” winner Grag Queen are among this year's headliners. The street fest's attendance is upwards of 60,000 visitors and is organized by Northalsted Business Alliance

Proud to Run (June 25)

Proud to Run is back in 2022. FrontRunners Chicago is proud to hit the ground running with the annual race on Saturday, June 25. Proud to Run donates 100% of proceeds from each year's race to Chicago-area non-profit organizations. Brave Space Alliance and the Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP) are this year's beneficiaries. Runners can register online

Pride North Festival (June 25-26)

Pride North returns to the Rogers Park neighborhood, featuring DJs and live entertainment across two stages on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26. The free fest is located on Glenwood Avenue between Morse and Lunt, just off the Morse Red Line stop. The festival draws almost 10,000 attendees to The Glenwood Avenue Arts Corridor. 

Pride in the Park Chicago (June 25-26)

 Pride in the Park Chicago, a one-of-a-kind inclusive queer celebration in Chicago's Grant Park, is back Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26. Superstar acts The Chainsmokers, and Alesso are this year's headliners with additional performances by Daya, Saucy Santana, J. Worra, Spencer Brown, Joel Corry, and Rebecca Black. Tickets are available online

Chicago Pride Parade (June 26)

The 51st annual Chicago Pride Parade will return after a two-year hiatus. The parade will step off at noon on Sunday, June 26 from Montrose and Broadway in Uptown and will then travel the traditional 21-block parade route before it ends near Diversey and Sheridan in Lincoln Park. This year's parade will be dedicated to the memory of Richard William Pfeiffer, coordinator of the annual Chicago Pride Parade since 1974. He died Oct. 6, 2019, at the age of 70.

There are even more events all month long to celebrate Pride Month. Chicago's LGBTQ calendar is on