Ready to make Sunday a fun day? Head to Broadway where crowds will be lined up several rows deep to watch the colorful celebration that makes up Chicago’s annual Pride Parade.
Complete with floats, dancers, beads, beer and some of the city’s most spectacular people-watching, the parade kicks off at noon in Updtown Montrose and Broadway and makes its way south through Lakeview before ending at Diversey in Lincoln Park.
An estimated 750,000 people are expected to take part in the celebration this year. Here are a few things to know before you go.
The parade will include tributes to the 49 people killed by a gunman two weeks ago in a crowded Orlando nightclub. Chicago Patch reports that one minute before the parade’s noon start, there will be a moment of silence for the 49 victims of the Pulse shooting. In addition, parade marchers near the front will carry pictures and the names of the 49 victims.
· As in the past, the parade route will dance its way through Uptown and Lakeview. While it’s typically an all-afternoon celebration with hundreds of participants — there were 215 participants last year — city leaders have asked that the parade have 65 fewer entries this time around. Shrinking the number of entries to 150 entries Sunday is expected to shrink the length of the parade by 30 or 45 minutes, Pride Parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer told Gopride.com.
· TV and stage star Monica Raymund will serve as the grand marshal for this year’s parade. She plays Gabriela Dawson in the locally filmed NBC show Chicago Fire. She’s lived and worked in the Windy City for four years.
“I’m in love with Chicago,” she told Out Chicago during a radio interview. “I feel like it is my home… I’m here for a while.”
· It’s going to be crowded and streets will be closed. When it comes to getting there, it’s best to leave the car at home and opt for an Uber or other ride-sharing service, taking a taxi or using public transit system. Another option is leaving your car in a lot elsewhere in the city and walking, biking or taking a Divvy bike to the parade route.
· Those in the crowd have traditionally celebrated Pride with a few drinks in public, but this year, doing so could be costly. Chicago Patch reports that police plan to uphold a new, stricter ordinance about drinking near parade routes and street drinking. Those who are caught could face fines of $500 to $1,000 for drinking, or community service.