Chicago's Pride Parade Steps Off at Noon this Sunday

Thu. June 23, 2005 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Parade grows to 250 entries, Wilson Cruz is Special Guest

Chicago, IL - The 36th Annual Pride Parade is set to kick off at Noon this Sunday, June 26. The parade will step off from the Halsted/Belmont corner, proceeding north on Halsted, then south on Broadway, then east on Diversey to Cannon Drive. (view map)

The local forecasts calls for a possible morning shower followed by beautiful sunny skies and a high near 90. Organizers of the Parade note there has never been a rain-out in the parade’s long history which dates back to 1970 when only 150 people participated in the Pride parade.

This year, an estimated 400,000 – 450,000 people are expected to attend. With 250 parade entries, the gay pride parade has grown to become Chicago's second-largest parade, behind the annual Bud Billiken Parade, which is also the largest African-American parade in the country.

Leading off the parade will be Special Guest (Grand Marshal) Wilson Cruz, actor and gay youth advocate. (full story) Cruz has starred in television, theater and movies including "My So-Called Life", "Party of Five", Ally McBeal", "ER", "Nixon", "All Over Me", "Party Monster" and "Rent" on Broadway. In addition to his acting credits, he is a gay youth advocate and was a spokesperson for the L.A.Gay Community Center's teen program.

The international theme for Pride 2005 is "Equal Rights! - No More, No Less." In Chicago, Mayor Daley has issued his annual proclamation naming June as "Pride Month in Chicago" to recognize the many contributions that the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities have made to our city. is excited to announce two entries in this year’s Pride parade. The float sponsored by Baird & Warner ( welcomes recording artist and former American Idol Finalist, Jim Verraros (full story). The float will broadcast dance music mixed by partner Fusion Radio Chicago and will feature Verraros' Billboard hit “You Turn It On,” from his CD "Rollercoaster."

The second entry sponsored by Chicago’s Howard Orloff Jaguar ( features and personality Jessika Sterling riding atop a “sterling” silver 2006 Jaguar XK Convertible.

Immediately after the parade, there are numerous events happening throughout Chicago. Check the event calendar for a full listing.

ABC-7 Chicago will broadcast the parade Sunday, June 26 at 11:35 p.m.(full story)

Related: Pride Guide