Chicago Pride Fest continues today in Boystown

Sun. June 23, 2013 9:00 AM by News Staff

chicago pride fest, sat., june 22, 2013

photo credit // anthony meade

Chicago's Pride Fest weekend offers something for everyone

Chicago, IL - Chicago's all-new Pride Week kicked into high gear Saturday morning as organizers of Chicago Pride Fest launched their event, for the first time, a week before the Pride parade. The event re-opens this morning at 11 a.m. and runs through 9 p.m. tonight in Boystown.

Pride Fest had traditionally been a prelude to the parade, which is scheduled for June 30. Organizers believe the change will help alleviate congestion in Lakeview during June by allowing a Pride Week instead of weekend. Last year's Pride Parade drew over 850,000 people to the neighborhood.

About 50,000 visitors come to Pride Fest each year. Organizers hope that the new scheduling will pull in even more, said Sean Kotwa, Hydrategeneral manager and co-chair of the Northalsted Business Alliance organizing committee.

"We really wanted to create a high caliber, world-renowned event that Chicago can be proud of, which we're not able to do given only a day and half event that is followed by Chicago's Pride Parade," Kotwa told "This also offers us an opportunity to create a week long celebration of the GLBT community here in Chicago for a longer time period than just one weekend."

According to Kotwa, having a Pride Week bookended by the festival and the parade will not only draw more visitors to Chicago, but bring attention to the best aspects of both events.

"The parade serves as a platform for the community to both highlight our accomplishments as well as show the support from the various participants in the parade," Kotwa said. "I think it serves as a reminder for the accomplishments of those generations before us--it's important for that aspect to not be forgotten and we continue using the parade as a vehicle for change and equality. But Pride Fest serves as an outright celebration of those accomplishments."

(View photos from Day 1 of Chicago Pride Fest)

The two-day street fest is situated along Halsted St. from Addison to Grace. A gate donation of $8 benefits the Northalsted Business Alliance, the same group behind the popular Northalsted Market Days set for the weekend of Aug., 10 and 11.

More information about these and other Pride events in Chicago can be found on's CalendarQ.

Related: interviews with Deborah Cox 

Chicago Pride Fest entertainment schedule for Sunday, June 23: 


Noon Miss Foozie's Pet Parade Registration and Start

1 p.m. Pride drag show

2:30 p.m. Deborah Cox 

( interview with Deborah Cox)

3 p.m. Pride drag show

4 p.m. Ultra Nate

5 p.m. Inaya Day

6 p.m. Neon Hitch

7 p.m. Sandy B.

8 p.m. Janice Robinson and Tameka Starr


1 p.m. Miss Foozie's Pet Parade Contest

2 p.m. HAG

3:45 p.m. Chicago Spirit Brigade

4 p.m. The Personnel

6 p.m. Rod Tuffcurls

7:30 p.m. Sixteen Candles

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