The 5th annual Buffalo Grove Pride Parade – stepping off at 11 a.m., on Sunday, June 4 – will roll through the northwest suburb on a longer path of main streets, Buffalo Grove Road and Deerfield Parkway.
“With constant attacks on the community from legislatures all over the country, especially (toward) the trans community, this day of pride was never more important,” said BG Pride organizer Carolyn Pinta of The Pinta Pride Project, which expects 100 entries for the rainbow-filled family-friendly parade.
“The neighboring village of Highland Park was struck with such tragedy last year at its 4th of July Parade; some folks will be forever traumatized – we must stand for them. There have been a huge number of sponsors this year who have increased their contributions in light of the hate. Perhaps this is a sign that the event will be well attended.”
The theme for this year’s BG Pride Parade is, The Magic of Pride, and the grand marshals (Tommy and Scott DeLorenzo) will be riding in a castle built by Bob Pinta.
“We will have displays from Balloons by Tommy in the crowd for pictures and we are introducing a Pride parade bingo board that families can complete,” Carolyn Pinta said. “The DeLorenzo’s are a beautiful couple who are perfect role-models for young, queer people to see that they, too, can have a happily-ever-after and an insanely successful business. We are also so happy to bring some joy to Tommy, who battled cancer last year and has won.”
The BG Pride will feature crowd favorites, including the Chicago Pride Guard and Lakeside Pride. Plus, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky is planning her own entry with music.
“The mission of The Pinta Pride Project is to highlight, celebrate and normalize the LGBTQ community in a family-friendly way,” Pinta said. “The best way to normalize anything is to make others understand that families, the most normal kind of love there is, are for everyone and not just straight, cisgender couples.”
After the BG Pride Parade, the Pride Picnic will be held at Mike Rylko Community Park (near the Spray ‘N Play), courtesy of the Buffalo Grove Park District – a first in a series of Uniquely Us events that celebrate the community’s diversity. The 3-hour event will feature live entertainment, food and drinks, and more.
The BG Pride was born in 2018 when then-12-year-old Molly Pinta went to her first pride parade and left with an ambitious idea: she wanted to start an LGBTQ pride event in her hometown: Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
Now 17, Molly is a senior at Stevenson High School and is bisexual. She was accepted to a veterinarian program at Kentucky State University that begins on the day of the parade. “While we are so saddened not to have her there, she has worked so very hard to get accepted to this program and she must do it,” her mom said.
She is still undecided about her college plans for the fall.
Molly will be featured in the Rebel Girls Celebrate Pride book, set to be released on May 23. The 64-page book features 25 inspiring tales of LGBTQIA+ community members, including Janelle Monae, Billie Jean King, Marcia P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Dr. Lady Phyll and others.Chicago's Pride Month calendar is on GoPride.com