Everything you need to know for Chicago Pride Fest 2017

Fri. June 16, 2017 5:28 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

chicago pride fest, 2014

photo credit // eamonn sexton

The essential guide to Chicago Pride Fest, June 17-18

Spectacular live entertainment, delicious food, endless shopping and plenty of people-watching marks the onset of the annual Chicago Pride Fest to be held Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18 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.

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 and Grace. Gates open both days at 11 a.m. and close at 10 p.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. 

What acts are performing?

Along with Taylor Dayne other popular names including American Idol alums David Hernandez and Carlito Olivero, Thelma Houston, Kristine W., and Well Strung will take to the entertainment stages at Chicago Pride Fest. 

We can't forget Chicago's own bands who will represent, including the all-girl band Catfight and local favorites 16 Candles.

Other performers include Chicago Gay Men's Chorus, Boy Band Review, Girl Power Band, One Night Band, Rod Tuff Curls and Abba Salute.

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 full entertainment schedule

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 bears, 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 on Sunday, June 18, at 12:30 p.m. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. at the North Stage. 

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 25, at noon.

What should I wear?

Some rain and storms are expected Saturday, so be prepared. Otherwise mostly sunny with highs expected in the 80's throughout the weekend. Look fierce!

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

#ChicagoPrideFest is the official hashtag for Northalsted Business Alliance, the event organizers. 

We want to see all of you using it! If you want to reach ChicagoPride.com we are @GoPride on Twitter and Instagram. #chicagopride #gopride 

Related: Chatting with out and proud 'Idol' David Hernandez, back for Chicago Pride Fest