Chicago Pride Fest returns this weekend

Fri. June 20, 2014 2:04 PM by News Staff

chicago pride fest 2013

photo credit // eamonn sexton

'Bigger is Better', Chicago Pride Fest features a line-up of heavy hitters

Chicago, IL - Chicago's Pride Weekend kicks into high gear this weekend with the 12th annual Chicago Pride Fest, a week before the 45th annual Pride parade. The event opens at 11 a.m. Sat., June 21 and runs through Sun., June 22 in Boystown.

Chicago native, Oscar-winning actress and Grammy-winning musician, Jennifer Hudson (interview), is returning back to her roots in the Midwest to give an explosive performance on Sat., June 21. And, organizers are calling her the biggest act ever secured for a Boystown summer festival.

"Bigger is better is not just marketing speak," said Ramesh Ariyanayakam president of the Northalsted Business Alliance, the group behind Pride Fest and Market Days. "From our headliner Jennifer Hudson to the multitude of other top quality performers like Betty Who and Carlito Olivero, we have the most comprehensive line-up in the festival's history."

The two-day street fest features 2 entertainment stages, plus a dance music stage with some of Chicago's favorite DJs. Among the additional acts appearing at the festival are Mya, Amber, Thelma Houston, Kaci Battaglia, Glee's Alex Newell and Chicago favorite Sixteen Candles.

"We truly hope that people realize the value in the entertainment line-up and the time, effort and money that it takes to pull off a festival of this magnitude," Ariyanayakam told

In addition to the non-stop entertainment, the festival will included 60 vendors offering arts, crafts and unique merchandise tailored to the gay community. Plus Miss Foozie will host the popular Pet Pride Parade, sponsored by PetSmart, on Sun. June 22 at 12:30 p.m.

"We cannot wait to get the party going and celebrate the community," said Ariyanayakam.

Chicago Pride Fest runs June 21-22 on Halsted Street between Addison and Grace. A $10 donation is recommended. The Chicago Pride Parade is the following Sunday, June 29 at noon.

Chicago Pride Fest Schedules: Sat., June 21 | Sun., June 22

Interviews: Alex Newell | Betty Who | Carlito Olivero | Jennifer Hudson  

Headliners: Alex Newell | Amber | Betty Who | Carlito Olivero | Catfight | Crush on the Radio | Girlband | Jennifer Hudson | Kaci Battaglia | Mya | Thelma Houston Pride Guide