All you need to know for Chicago Pride Fest 2015

Sat. June 20, 2015 8:24 AM by Jan Bernabe

chicago pride fest, 2014

photo credit // eamon sexton

The essential guide to the 13th annual Chicago Pride Fest

Spectacular live entertainment, delicious food, endless shopping and plenty of people-watching marks the onset of the 13th annual Chicago Pride Fest to be held Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21 in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood.

Opening at 11 a.m. on Saturday, the two-day street festival turns North Halsted Street into one enormous Pride party with 2 entertainment stages, plus a dance music stage featuring some of Chicago's favorite DJs and drag queens. Plus a whole lot of queer and queer-friendly folks in attendance.

Let's #KeepPrideProud!

Where's the party?

One word: Boystown! Once there, follow the herd of excited revelers, or the gaggle of drag queens, or just follow the music. But seriously, Pride Fest is located on North Halsted between Addison St. and Grace St. Gates open both days at 11 a.m.

Is there a charge for admission?

Not officially, but a $10 donation is suggested. Your donation will support the Northalsted Business Alliance, which hosts major events throughout the year including Chicago Pride Fest, Northalsted Market Day, the Halloween Parade and Frost Fest, and will go towards keeping Boystown safe and fun for all. 

But equally important, a portion of the gate donation will go to La Casa Norte, which serves youth and families confronting homelessness by providing access to stable housing and comprehensive services that help transform lives and communities.

What acts are performing?

Along with 80s teen idol Debbie Gibson other popular names including "Queen of Bounce" Big Freedia, the Pussycat Dolls' Jessica Sutta, Estelle and out rapper Cazwell will take the Main Stage at North Halsted and Grace.

We can't forget Chicago's own bands who will represent at Pride Fest: 16 Candles, Wedding Banned, Catfight, The Gingers, and Rod Tuffcurls.

And of course, what's a festival without drag queens and female impersonators!

Is there's a complete schedule that I can look at?

Check out the listings for Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21.

Are there other things to do or see?

If people watching is your thing, grab a refreshment watch the throng of festival attendees. With over 50,000 are expected to attend, there will be no shortage of eye-candy for sure.

In addition to the live entertainment, Pride Fest will include 60 arts and craft vendors, as well as sellers of unique merchandise tailored to the LGBTQ community.

I hear bears will be at Pride Fest, will there be other furry animals?

We hear cubs and otters will be at the festival too. But if you're not into two-legged furry animals, there will be a fun event for the four-legged kind. Chicago's own Miss Foozie will host the always popular Pet Pride Parade, sponsored by PetCo, on Sunday, June 21, at 12:30 p.m.

Will there be a Pride Parade?

Gay pride without a parade is like a gin and tonic without the gin ...bitter! The Pride Parade will be held the following Sunday, June 28, at noon.

What should I wear?

The weather is expected to be muy caliente! Look fierce.

I want to tweet and instagram Chicago Pride Fest. Is there a hashtag for the event?

#KeepPrideProud - we want to see all of you using it! If you want to reach we are @GoPride.

Let's do this!