Everything you need to know for Chicago Pride Parade 2023

Fri. June 23, 2023 9:38 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

chicago pride parade, 2022

photo credit // steven koch

The 52nd annual Chicago Pride Parade steps off at noon on Sunday from Montrose and Broadway

Fifty-three years ago, just one year after the Stonewall uprising in New York City, nearly 200 people gathered for Chicago’s first Pride Rally and March. It was considered more of a protest than a celebration, according to LGBTQ author and historian Sukie de la Croix.

Now with the recent legislative attacks nationwide, it’s more important than ever to recognize Pride as an ongoing protest for the rights of the entire LGBTQ community.

“United we stand, divided we fall has probably never been more appropriate than in the current state of affairs,” Scarlet owner Paul Cannella told GoPride.com. 

Planning to attend the Chicago Pride Parade? Here's everything you need to know.

ROUTE AND TIME: The parade starts at 12 p.m. at the corner of Broadway and Montrose. The parade featuring nearly 200 colorful entries will then travel the 21-block parade route south on Broadway; then south on Halsted; then east on Belmont; then south on Broadway; then east on Diversey to Cannon Drive.

There will be nine pedestrian crossover streets along the parade route: Montrose Avenue at Broadway, Irving Park Road at Broadway, Grace Street at Halsted Street, Addison Street at Halsted Street, Roscoe Street at Halsted Street, Wellington Avenue at Broadway, Aldine Street at Halsted Street, Cornelia Avenue at Halsted Street, and Oakdale Avenue at Broadway. 

The Chicago Pride Parade is considered Chicago's second-largest parade. 

BEST VIEWING: The Belmont and Addison stations (and the surrounding area) tend to become the most crowded, so you are encouraged to consider watching the parade from the other parts of the route, including areas toward the start of the route—such as Broadway, south of Montrose—which are served by both the nearby Wilson and Sheridan stations on the Red Line.

GRAND MARSHAL AND HIGHLIGHTS: A grand marshal was not announced in 2023; however, Karamo Brown, all Chicago professionals sports teams, NASCAR, and nearly 200 other entrants will participate in this year's parade. (See the entire parade line-up here)

"It will be one of the largest Pride Parades in many years," said coordinator Tim Frye of this year's event.  

LESS ALCOHOL, MORE SECURITY: Security will be tight again this year. Open container rules will continue to be strictly enforced, with private security workers patrolling the parade and police on every corner. Penalties include, but are not limited to, $1000+ tickets being issued, and you could have to throw out your booze.

STREET CLOSURES: Street closures should start at 8 a.m. for staging areas, with parade route closures beginning at 9:30 a.m. or as the crowd dictates for safety issues. Closures include Montrose, Irving Park and Wellington at Broadway, as well as Addison, Grace and Roscoe at Halsted. Streets should reopen by 8 p.m., or when deemed safe to do so.

TRANSPORTATION: Public transportation is highly recommended. The CTA will be providing extra service and longer trains on the L, and several buses will be re-routed on parade day. Bicycles will not be permitted on CTA trains for most of the day, and strollers and carts must be folded before boarding all CTA buses and trains. 

The nearest L stops are: Wilson, Sheridan, Addison or Belmont on the Red Line and Southport, Belmont, Wellington, or Diversey on the Brown Line. Bus lines are 8, 22, 36, 80, or 152.

The CTA encourages riders to avoid the Belmont station, which will likely be crowded.

Related: Pride Train returns to CTA's Red Line

Metra will provide extra trains on the BNSF, UP North, UP Northwest and UP West Lines. Other lines that operate on Sundays will offer extra seating capacity.

PARKING: There won't be much street parking available near the assembly or parade routes, so if you're driving be prepared to park outside of the immediate area. Watch for temporary no parking signs. 

WEATHER: Sunday's forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and a change of showers with a high temperature around 85 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The parade is rain or shine, pending any severe weather. 

COOLING BUSES: The city will provide cooling buses located on Halsted, south of Belmont; Addison, west of Halsted; Belmont, east of Broadway; Wilton, north of Belmont; and Buena, west of Broadway. 

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE: If you need first aid, the Chicago Fire Department has first aid stations at 901 W. Addison St., 765 W. Roscoe St., 3165 N. Halsted St., 561 W. Surf St. and 802 W. Roscoe St. There will also be a public safety command center on Belmont Avenue between Clark and Halsted.

NEEDS AND SPECIAL NEEDS: Portable restrooms will be stationed along both the parade line-up street and the parade route. For seniors or those who need wheelchair-accessible sites, head near 600 W. Diversey. It's towards the end of the parade route and typically is less crowded than other streets. Many arrive early to set up chairs and claim their spots. This area also has bathrooms for those with special needs.

HISTORY: Pride Month and Pride parades commemorate the Stonewall rebellion that took place on June 28,1969, when patrons of a New York City gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, fought back during a raid by police. At that time, gay bars were frequently raided across the country. That night, patrons fought back and street demonstrations continued for several days. During that week, gay liberation groups were formed, thus giving birth to the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement.

Pride parades are staged in over 200 cities worldwide in more than 125 cities in the United States with at least 12 taking place on the last weekend in June every year. In recent years, many are staged in small towns across the country and recently in various suburbs of Chicago, including Buffalo Grove and Aurora, Illinois. 

Photos: Buffalo Grove Pride Parade | Aurora Pride Parade

The annual Chicago Pride Parade is coordinated by PRIDEChicago under the direction of Tim Frye. More information can be found on the official website

Chicago's LGBTQ calendar is on GoPride.com

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