52nd Chicago Pride Parade steps off today at noon

Sun. June 25, 2023 9:25 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

chicago pride parade, 2022

photo credit // steven koch

Large crowds expected for the Chicago Pride Parade

The 52nd annual Pride Parade is set to kick off Sunday, bringing a fun-filled celebration of the LGBTQ community to Chicago.

This year's parade is expected to draw a million spectators, thousands of participants and nearly 200 entrants. 

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

The lineup includes colorful floats, decorated vehicles, marching bands and walking contingents representing community businesses, organizations and elected governmental officials.

WCIU CW26's decked-out double-decker bus will feature talk show host Karamo Brown.

NASCAR will have an entree, marking a first in Chicago - driver Zach Herrin is openly gay. The parade takes place the weekend prior to NASCAR's first-ever Cup Series street race in Chicago on July 1 and 2.

All of Chicago’s professional sports teams are represented. The Chicago Blackhawks will be hosted by the Chicago Gay Hockey Association and the team plans to bring a Zamboni with its parade entry. 

A new entry from Chicago Sugar Daddy Patisserie promises to be festively delicious. And noticeably absent is Balloons by Tommy, one of the most popular and photographed entrants.

Related: Cancer battle continues for owner Tommy DeLorenzo; Balloons by Tommy's colorful, creative parade message will be missed

The parade steps off at noon from Montrose and Broadway in Uptown and will then travel the 21-block parade route before it ends near Diversey and Sheridan in Lincoln Park.

Security will be evident along the route. While no direct threats have been made against the parade, up to 200 additional officers will be deployed to the parade route to keep the crowd safe, according to Chicago Police. 

Open container rules will be strictly enforced. Penalties include $1000 tickets being issued. 

The annual Chicago Pride parade, which started as a protest march in 1970 after the Stonewall Riots in New York City, has grown into the city's second-largest parade.

ABC 7 Chicago will broadcast the first two hours of the parade live.