Everything you need to know for Chicago Pride Fest 2022

Fri. June 17, 2022 1:01 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

2019 chicago pride fest

photo credit // steven koch

Chicago Pride Fest: June 18 & 19 in Chicago's Northalsted neighborhood

Spectacular live entertainment, delicious food, endless shopping and plenty of people-watching marks the onset of Chicago Pride Fest happening Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 in Lakeview. 

Opening at 11 a.m. on Saturday, the two-day street festival turns N. Halsted St. into one enormous Pride party with 2 entertainment stages and a dance music stage featuring some of Chicago's favorite DJs and drag queens. Plus a whole lot of queer and queer-friendly folks in attendance.

“I'm excited that our community will gather again this year in June as we have historically, with heightened appreciation of togetherness and resilience in celebration of the rights we have secured and motivated to ensure that we retain them into the future,” said Northalsted Vice-President and lead event organizer Mark Liberson.

Where's the party?

Chicago's Northalsted neighborhood, commonly referred to as “Boystown.” Once there, follow the herd of excited revelers or the gaggle of drag queens, or just follow the music. But seriously, Pride Fest is located on N. Halsted St. between Addison and Grace. Gates open both days at 11 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.

Is there a charge for admission?

Not officially, but a $15 suggested donation for entry helps pays performers and festival workers, and funds community programs. Generous public donations paid for the Chicago Pride Crosswalks; 14 rainbow-paved intersections installed in 2019 that make up the longest installation of its kind in the world.

What acts are performing?

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.

Interview: Netta is tough as "Nails"

The lineup also features Inaya Day, Mila Jam, Madison Rose, Dyllon Burnside, Sixteen Candles, Boy Band Review, KIYOMI, Queen Explosion, Dancing Queen: An ABBA Salute, and more.

And of course, what's a festival without drag queens and female impersonators!

Is there a complete schedule that I can look at?

Yes, check it out here!

Are there other things to do or see?

If people-watching is your thing, grab a refreshment and watch the throng of festival attendees. With over 60,000 people expected to attend, there will be no shortage of eye candy for sure. In addition to the live entertainment, Pride Fest will include 150+ arts and craft vendors, as well as sellers of unique merchandise tailored to the LGBTQ community.

I hear bears will be at Pride Fest, will there be other furry animals?

We hear bears, cubs, and otters will be at the festival too. But if you're not into two-legged furry animals, there will be a fun event for the four-legged kind. The always popular Proud Pet Parade hosted by Miss Foozie is on Sunday, June 19, at 12:30 p.m. Registration begins at 12:00 p.m. at the North Stage (Halsted & Grace).

Will there be a Pride Parade?

Gay pride without a parade is like a gin and tonic without the gin ... bitter! The annual Chicago Pride Parade returns in 2022 and will be held the following Sunday, June 26, at noon.

What should I wear?

Forecasted temperatures for the weekend are mild, so dress accordingly. Keep in mind, that the festival is open rain or shine. Check the forecast before heading out!

How do I get there? Should I drive?

Pride Fest is easily accessible by public transportation, and attendees are encouraged to take CTA to the festival.

CTA Red Line stops Addison and Sheridan are a short walk from the festival, as is Belmont, which is served by the Red, Purple and Brown lines.

CTA buses 8 Halsted, 22 Clark, 36 Broadway, 77 Belmont, 80 Irving Park, 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express, 151 Sheridan and 152 Addison all serve the area of Pride Fest.

Halsted Street between Addison and Grace will be closed from 9 a.m. Friday, June 17 to 4 a.m. Monday, June 20. And there are numerous parking restrictions, so watch where you park.

Anything else I should know?

No large bags/backpacks are allowed, all bags will be inspected prior to entry. No coolers or outside beverages. Clear plastic sealed bottled water is allowed.

Chicago Pride Fest is organized by the Northalsted Business Alliance (northalsted.com), the same group behind Northalsted Market Days and Halsted Halloween Parade. 

Chicago's LGBTQ calendar is on GoPride.com