Chicago Pride Parade to go on as planned, vows mayor

Mon. June 13, 2016 8:28 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

chicago pride parade, 2015

photo credit // chicagopride.com

Emanuel: Pride Parade is a place where Chicagoans can ‘express our common values of inclusion.’

Chicago, IL - Mayor Rahm Emanuel and organizers of Chicago's 47th annual Pride Parade agree the event will go on despite the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at an Orlando gay nightclub and the arrest of a heavily armed man near the Los Angeles Pride parade over the weekend.

Emanuel called on Chicagoans to "not cower in the face of terrorism or terrorists who are trying to intimidate us."

"Which is why I want to be sure that we, as a city, are not only going forward with our LGBT, our Gay Pride Parade, but because that is where we express our common values of inclusion," Emanuel told reporters on Monday.

Even before the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, parade organizers announced a plan to increase the security presence along the 21-block parade route, nearly doubling the number of off-duty police officers from 90 last year to 160 this year.

"Security is of the utmost importance for the Pride Parade," longtime parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer told ChicagoPride.com. "We will be meeting again with city representatives, including the Chicago Police Department and Office of Emergency Management and Communications, concerning any adjustments or increases of resources."

PRIDEChicago, the parade organizers, previously confirmed to ChicagoPride.com that the parade will have 55 less entries this year, down from the 215 that participated in 2015. Reducing the total to 150 entries should reduce the overall length of the parade by 30 or 45 minutes, said Pfeiffer.

And on Sunday, city officials announced additional police resources would be added to the 19th District, which includes the Boystown, Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, with increased visibility of officers at special events, including Chicago Pride Fest and the Pride Parade.

Authorities stressed there is no evidence of a threat against the LGBT community in Chicago, but they are stepping up police presence out of an "abundance of caution."

The 47th annual Chicago Pride Parade, which now brings more than a million visitors to the Uptown and Lakeview neighborhoods, is Sunday, June 26 starting at noon. Chicago Pride Fest is this weekend, June 18 and 19, in Lakeview. 

Related: 'Chicago Fire' star Monica Raymund to lead Chicago Pride Parade

Related: Jordin Sparks to headline Chicago Pride Fest
 

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