Photos: The 52nd annual Chicago Pride Parade

Thu. June 29, 2023 8:49 PM by Kevin Wayne

photo credit // kevin wayne
A little rain didn’t dampen the celebration at Chicago’s Pride Parade.

Thousands flooded the streets of Uptown and Lakeview on Sunday for the 52nd annual parade.

The skies opened up shortly after the parade stepped off at noon from Montrose and Broadway. But the downpour was brief and the parade continued under beautiful sunny blue skies. 

“The rain felt great,” said Johnathan Chan, 37, from Lakeview. “It was starting to become a hot day.”

“I wish it had rained longer,” he joked. 

Spirits and enthusiasm remained high all afternoon long. 

There was an increased visibility of the transgender community this year in Chicago and pride celebrations nationwide. 

On Sunday, participants and spectators shared a unified message focused specifically on the rights of transgender people.  

This comes as new laws targeting the LGBTQ community, in particular transgender people, take effect in several U.S. states.

“It was a day to celebrate,” said parade organizer Tim Frye. “But don't ever underestimate us.” 

Frye noted there were a lot of spectacular and visual entries this year. 

“There were a lot of clever ideas,” he said. 

In total, there were nearly 200 entrants in the parade, including Mayor Brandon Johnson, Governor J.B. Pritzker, television host Karamo Brown, all of Chicago’s professional sports teams, and NASCAR.

This Chicago Blackhawks, hosted by the Chicago Gay Hockey Association, brought a Zamboni to the parade. 

Organizers hosted Tommy DeLorenzo and his husband Scott. DeLorenzo is the owner of Balloons by Tommy, one of the most popular, colorful, photographed parade entrants over the past decade. Tommy was unable to fully participate in this year’s parade due to an ongoing battle with cancer.  

And, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias gained the most attention - at the parade and on social media - with his “thirst trap” water-drenched look following the downpour.

The annual parade traditionally wraps up Pride Month festivities in Chicago. 

View thousands of Pride Month photos